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Twitter suspends account linked to Iran’s supreme chief following risk in opposition to Trump

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Jan 22, 2021

Twitter suspended Friday an account believed to belong to the workplace of the nation’s supreme chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The social media big has taken motion in opposition to some Iran-related accounts since completely suspending Donald Trump from Twitter earlier this month when Trump was nonetheless president.

The account, which had the deal with @khamenei_site, tweeted a risk in opposition to Trump. The tweet was entitled “revenge” and confirmed a blond man on a golf course resembling the previous president. The shadow of a big drone appeared over the inexperienced. The textual content, in Persian, additionally referenced the “killing of Soleimani.” This refers back to the Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani who was killed by a US airstrike ordered by Trump in January 2020.

The tweet violated Twitter’s abusive conduct coverage, a Twitter spokesperson advised Al-Monitor. The account was suspended for violating Twitter’s platform manipulation spam coverage, which forbids “behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter.”

The account “violated our platform manipulation and spam coverage, particularly the creation of pretend accounts, and has been completely suspended,” stated the spokesperson.

Twitter didn’t reply when requested if the account itself was faux. It had 7,888 followers and was not verified. Other accounts bearing the ayatollah’s identify have many extra followers, although none are verified.

Some of those different Iranian ayatollah accounts have been censored these days. On Jan.  8, Twitter deleted a tweet from the @khamenei_ir account. The account, which has lots of of 1000’s of followers, tweeted that COVID-19 vaccines produced within the United States and United Kingdom are “untrustworthy.” It additionally accused France of donating HIV-contaminated blood to Iran.

Other controversial tweets stay up. In 2018, the identical account tweeted, “Israel is a malignant cancerous in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated.”

Last yr, Twitter had stated that incendiary tweets from the Iranian chief on Israel wouldn’t be banned as a result of they amounted to “saber rattling” and are “part of the speech of world leaders in concert with other countries,” Politico reported.

Trump’s current suspension has led to renewed deal with Twitter’s coverage vis-a-vis Khamenei. Trump was completely suspended Jan. Eight following the storming of the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters. On Jan. 6, Twitter deleted sure tweets from Trump on the incident. In 2020, the Silicon Valley firm had already utilized labels to tweets of his questioning the validity of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Some questioned Twitter’s seemingly totally different remedy of Trump’s exercise versus the ayatollah’s on the time.

The Twitter spokesperson didn’t reply to a query asking for clarification on how a world chief can get suspended. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defined the Trump ban in a prolonged thread and cited “threats to bodily security.”

There are actually requires Twitter to take motion in opposition to what are thought-about the ayatollah’s accounts. A Thursday op-ed in The Washington Post by Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad explicitly known as for this. Alinejad slammed Khamenei’s use of Twitter whereas atypical residents are prohibited from occurring the positioning, amongst different issues.

The Iranian authorities blocks Twitter in Iran, although Iranian officers use the positioning. Some Iranians can even entry Twitter by way of digital non-public networks.

Twitter has taken motion in opposition to different Iran-affiliated accounts just lately. The account of Abu Ali al-Askary from the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq was suspended as of Friday. Last week, Askary supplied to assist “liberation movements” inside the United States.

Last yr, Twitter suspended accounts from Iran it stated had been “disrupting the public conversation” surrounding the US election. Twitter obtained the data on the exercise from the US authorities.

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