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Iran protests: Facebook wrong to remove ‘death to Khamenei’ posts, board finds

The monitoring board of Facebook’s parent business asserts that the site erred in removing a post containing a common protest chant against the leader of Iran.Information Guide Nigeria

In July, Meta administrators stated that the phrase “marg bar Khamenei” (literally “death to Khamenei”) violated community standards.

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The board stated, however, that the statement was frequently employed figuratively to indicate “down with Khamenei” and did not constitute a serious threat of violence.

In addition, the committee provided recommendations “to better protect political speech”.

The Oversight Board makes decisions independently regarding what content should be allowed or prohibited on Meta’s platforms, which include Instagram and WhatsApp.

Prior to September, when authorities began blocking access to Meta’s social networks in reaction to widespread protests against the clerical establishment and Supreme Leader, millions of Iranians relied on them for news. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.NYSC portal

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The ongoing turmoil, during which crowds have been heard yelling “marg bar Khamenei” in Persian, was sparked by the death in jail of a young woman who had been held by morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab “improperly.”

Authorities have portrayed the protests as “riots” and responded with lethal force. So far, at least 519 protesters have been killed and 19,300 arrested, according to the Human Rights Activists’ News Agency (HRANA). Four detainees have been executed after what the UN has condemned as “unfair trials based on forced confessions”.JAMB portal

“In the Iranian context, the board finds that Meta must do more to respect freedom of expression, and permit the use of rhetorical threats,” the Facebook Oversight Board’s ruling said.

“The Iranian government systematically represses freedom of expression and digital spaces have become a key forum for dissent. In such situations, it is vital that Meta supports users’ voices.

It added that Meta should have anticipated issues around the anti-government protests that took place on Iran’s National Day of Hijab and Chastity last July and instructed moderators not to remove content containing the “marg bar Khamenei” slogan.JAMB Result

“As this case shows, its failure to do so led to the silencing of political speech aimed at protecting women’s rights.”

Motaung’s complaint.JAMB Result

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Emediong Ekpe

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing.

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