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Facebook blocks Press TV yet again: Freedom of speech, western style

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 21, 2020 (FILES) In this file photo taken on October 21, 2020 shows the logo of the multinational American Internet technology and services company, Google (center), the American online social media and social networking service, Facebook (Top R), Snapchat (Bottom R), Twitter (top L) and Instragram (bottom L) on a computer screen in Lille. AFP

Facebook has once again shut down the page of the Press TV news network. This time permanently. Yet another attack by the US based social media giant on Iranian media outlets.

Facebook said in a note that this decision is irreversible. The company attempted to shut down press TV's account without giving any prior warning. Facebook justified the act by claiming that Press TV has failed to follow the Facebook community standards. However, the company did not specify the so called violations of its rules.

The social media platform has, on a number of occasions, attacked Press TV, despite its own claim of providing space for freedom of expression.

One such attack took place in mid January, when Facebook temporarily deleted Press TV's page, which had more than 4 million followers.

The news outlet, however, had its page restored after appealing the platform's decision to remove it. The attack coincided with press TV's coverage of post election violence in the US.

Press TV has repeatedly fallen victim to censorship, not just on Facebook but also on other fronts, including Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Over the past years, Facebook, along with the other companies mentioned already, have repeatedly targeted Press TV, as well as other media outlets of Iran and the countries critical of the West and the Israeli regimes occupation of Palestine.

It appears that the UK is following in the footsteps of the US when it comes to censoring media. The UK broadcast regulator, Ofcom, recently stripped the Chinese media company, CGTN, of operating rights on its cable network, the exact same move that it made against Iran's Press TV back in 2012.

I think we need to recognize that in today's day and age, the various social media, in particular when talking about Facebook today, is being weaponized in the halls of the Western powers to actually try and make sure that the agendas that Western powers have are going to be promoted, and anyone that is resisting or saying different things to what the Western powers want to hear, and want other people to hear outside, they're going to try and make sure that those voices are suppressed.

Raza Kazim, Islamic Human Rights Commission, London

In June 2020 Facebook labeled Iran's Press TV, Russia's Sputnik and China's Xinhua News Agency, as state media saying that it will block them from running advertisements in the US, which views the three countries as its arch enemies. The said media labels did not apply to the BBC, Deutsche Welle, or other government funded Western news agencies, nor to those accounts funded by the US government, such as Radio Free Europe.

That is a clear case of double standards. Facebook had in 2018 targeted hundreds of accounts that it claimed were tied to Iran and Russia under the pretext of fighting misinformation campaigns, while American social media platforms do not hesitate to silence the voice of Iranian media under the pretext of policy violations, they do, however, offer a free hand to anti Muslim hate groups, and Iranophobes under the banner of freedom of expression, and a blatantly double standard policy.

I think the idea of freedom of speech within the western world, is something that has been promoted by the Western powers, and it's a myth. When you look at the detail of what's actually going on in terms of what people are able to articulate and the parameters within which they're actually allowed to operate, what you see is that whatever the flavor of the month is, whatever the fashion is in terms of the political fashion about what should and should not be said. Then, if anyone goes outside those parameters or criticises things that are outside of those parameters that Western powers want to have criticized, they will not allow that.

Raza Kazim, Islamic Human Rights Commission, London

Facebook and other Western social media networks have repeatedly attacked Iranian news networks like Press TV and Hispanic TV, yet their allegations have been baseless. Therefore, there's a clear case of double standards, Western media cannot stand those who are critical of their policies, those who speak the truth, of those who are the voice of the voiceless, as Press TV's slogan goes.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku