Tensions between Iran and the United States have continued to rise since general Qassem Soleimani was killed, and social media companies have been forced to come under pressure to tighten regulatory platforms — but they don’t seem to know where the boundaries are, according tomedia. Most notably, Facebook-owned Instagram has deleted a number of posts about Soleimani.
As Coda Story pointed out last week, the company appears to be deleting media posts related to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is listed by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization and is now facing sanctions.
Last year, Instagram, one of the only Western social media platforms in Iran that has not been blocked by the government, deleted Soleimani’s account, one of the only Western social media services in Iran that has not been blocked by the government.
In response to the latest move, a Facebook spokesman said the company had complied with the sanctions and had actively deleted posts expressing support for the U.S. government’s list of terrorist organizations and its leaders.
Although Instagram explained the U.S. government’s sanctions, it’s unclear whether the social media company’s actions were appropriate. Jillian C. York, director of international freedom of expression at the Eff, said in a post on Twitter that Instagram was wrong from a legal point of view.
Instagram isn’t the only site trying to comply with U.S. sanctions. Over the weekend, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said two recent fund-raising campaigns for passengers on a Ukrainian flight shot down by an Iranian missile had been cancelled – but later resumed.
A GoFundMe spokesman said in a statement, “In some rare cases, U.S. or Canadian sanctions would prohibit us from supporting certain actions.” “
Moreover, this is not the first time a technology company has responded positively to sanctions. Last year, GitHub restricted users in several countries that are subject to U.S. sanctions.