(JTA) — Meta has shut down the Instagram and Facebook accounts of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “for repeatedly violating our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy.”
The company did not elaborate on its policy, reported Friday by multiple media outlets, but since Oct. 18, 11 days after Hamas terrorists raided Israel and murdered more than 1,200 people and brutalized thousands more, Meta has banned “content containing praise for Hamas, which is designated by Meta as a Dangerous Organization, or violent and graphic content.”
Khamenei has since the Oct. 7 raids repeatedly praised the terrorist organization, and anticipated with joy the demise of Israel and of Zionism, on his Meta accounts, as well as on X, the platform owned separately by Elon Musk.
“God willing, the cancer of the usurper Zionist regime will be eradicated at the hands of the Palestinian people and the Resistance forces throughout the region,” he posted on Oct. 7, attaching a video of civilians fleeing terrorist attackers.
“Never doubt that the hostile, usurper Zionist regime will be wiped off the world’s map one day,” he posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Dec. 23. His Instagram and Facebook posts are no longer available.
The decision comes as Meta, a social media behemoth, is considering how to treat abuses of the term “Zionist,” a development first reported Friday by The Washington Post.
“While the term ‘Zionist’ often refers to a person’s ideology, which is not a protected characteristic, it can also be used to refer to Jewish or Israeli people,” Meta spokeswoman Erin McPike told the Post. “Given the increase in polarized public discourse due to events in the Middle East, we believe it’s important to assess our guidance for reviewing posts that use the term ‘Zionist.’”
Jewish groups praised Meta for the ban. “We’ve long asked @Meta to take down the Facebook & Instagram accounts of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei & applaud that it’s finally happened,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the Anti-Defamation League CEO, said on X. “He’s used these platforms for years to incite violent antisemitism, to legitimize militant antizionism and to make genocidal threats.
X has not banned Khamenei despite repeated appeals from Jewish groups. Officials of X and other social media have said they generally exempt world leaders from bans because of the newsworthiness of their statements, however vile.
Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur, claims to be a free speech absolutist although he has complied with censorship laws in China and other autocracies and has removed content attacking him.