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The logo of Meta Platforms, Inc. formerly known as Facebook

Congress Launches Probe Over Meta Censoring Iranian Dissidents

6/8/2022

The US Congress is investigating the Meta social media network to find out why the platform is censoring content by Iranian dissidents and pro-democracy advocates. 

Following reports that the social media giant might be aiding the Iranian government amid a wave of protests, three Republican lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees have launched a probe into the matter, a copy of which was published by the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday.

Representatives Jim Banks (Ind.), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.), and Joe Wilson (S.C.) want information about what steps Meta has "taken to confront infiltration by proponents of the Islamic Republic of Iran" that resulted in deleting and censoring accounts tied to anti-regime activists.

They also urged Meta to investigate claims that Instagram, the video sharing app owned by the company, has "been infiltrated by those sympathetic to the Islamic Republic in Iran."

The probe comes following reports alleging that Instagram content moderators are deleting and censoring accounts that have documented the regime’s human rights abuses during the latest wave of protests, including content showing Iranian security forces beating protesters and firing tear gas into crowds.

The lawmakers say Meta helping the Iranian government censor such content represents "an unacceptable threat to their privacy, liberty, and our national security."

BBC’s sources alleged that pro-regime employees of the German branch of Telus International, a Canadian contractor which provides content moderation to Instagram with over 400 Iranian employees for reviewing Persian-language content, are responsible for restricting anti-government content of Iranian users.

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