Meta Eliminates Iran’s Supreme Leader From Facebook And Instagram After Calling To ‘Wipe Israel Off The Map’



Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the faithful at the weekly Muslim Friday prayers at Tehran University on June 19, 2009. Khamenei called for an end to street protests over last week's disputed presidential election, siding with declared winner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in his first public appearance after daily protests over the official results. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the faithful at the weekly Muslim Friday prayers at Tehran University on June 19, 2009. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)

Elizabeth Volberding
11:16 AM – Monday, February 12, 2024

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s Facebook and Instagram accounts have been restricted by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta due to ongoing violations of policies targeting potentially dangerous individuals and groups. 

Initially reported by the New York Post, Meta, which is the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has permanently restricted Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, from its platforms. 

According to the company, Khamenei’s repeated calls to “wipe Israel off the map” and his description of Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that will be “uprooted and destroyed” prompted this decision.

Khamenei’s call to “wipe Israel off the map” ultimately is what caused the permanent suspension, according to NYT.

Khamenei’s official Facebook page and his Persian and English-language Instagram accounts, with a combined following of over 5 million, were deleted due to their violation of Meta’s policies against potentially dangerous individuals and organizations. 

According to Meta, Khamenei’s remarks were designated as “hate speech,” which is why the ban was appropriate.

The despot in Iran has long used provocative speech against Israel, whom it regards as its “top adversary.” 

Khamenei said on X (Twitter) in October of last year that “the cancer of the usurper Zionist regime will be eradicated at the hands of the Palestinian people and the Resistance forces throughout the region,” in response to the attacks on Israel by Hamas that killed over 1,000 people.

Although Khamenei has not yet been banned by X, pro-Israel organizations have been pushing several social media companies to remove his accounts due to of his frequent calls for violence.

Although Iran prohibits the use of Facebook, Instagram, and X, Khamenei kept up his accounts on these social media sites in order to connect with people internationally.

Khamenei was removed by Meta after he initially called for Israel’s destruction several years ago. Although social media companies are now more aggressively enforcing policies against state-supported hate speech, experts wonder why this case wasn’t handled sooner. 

Israeli authorities and Jewish organizations have welcomed Khamenei’s permanent restriction as a long-overdue measure to stop harmful propaganda spreading across social media.

Share this post!