Social media giant, Facebook deleted the facebook page of Iran’s news service, Press TV. Facebook shut down Press TV’s social media page on January 12, 2021 according to RT.com. Press TV had nearly 4 million followers on its social media page when Facebook dismantled it. Press TV notified the public of what occurred via twitter @PressTV. The Iranian news service tweeted, “Facebook deletes Press TV’s main page without any warning or explanation”.
Dismantling of Press TV’s Facebook page without notice was characterized as “Breaking News” and an “attack” that “coincides” with its reporting on the U.S. TheHill.com reported that Facebook posted a notification after shutting down Press TV. Facebook’s notification said its decision was ‘final,’ adding, ” it could not provide additional information for ‘safety and security reasons”. According to TheHill.com, Facebook’s action came after Trump was banned from the platform for making unfounded claims of election fraud. Some felt that lead to Facebook banning other media outlets from exercising free speech on social media.
This is not the first time Press TV has been shut down by Facebook In June last year, Facebook suspended state-media accounts. Facebook labeled Iran’s Press TV, Russia’s Sputnik, and China’s Xinhua news agency as “state-media”, according to a report in Egyptindependent.com. Facebook promised that it would begin blocking certain media from running advertisements in the U.S. In 2018 Iranian and Russian accounts were targeted “under the pretext of fighting misinformation campaigns”.
Tension between the U.S. and Iran have been reported for some time and heightened during the ending days of the Trump Presidency. Facebook’s actions shutting down Iran’s Press TV fueled speculation that an immenent war between the U.S. and Iran might be on the horizon. “According to TheHill com, Facebook reversed course and reinstated Press TV ‘s social media page within hours after its so called ‘FINAL’ deletion.