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Social Media Outlets Block #IRGC Presence

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The US government officially designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). Instagram and Google have acted swiftly to be in “legal” compliance with U.S. sanction laws.

On April 16, 2019, Instagram, which is one of the only major social-media sites not yet blocked by the clerics running the Majlis and government of Iran, has blocked English language page of IRGC chief, General Qassem Soleimani as well as pages of several other IRGC commanders. Instagarm also blocked English language pages of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and that of judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi–apparently their Farsi language pages have not been blocked. Spokesperson for Instagram explained they have to maintain their legal obligations “under the constraints of U.S. sanctions laws.” Questions to ask is why do any of these characters, who don’t even speak English, have English Instagram pages?

English Instagram Page of head of Quds commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is Blocked!

Next blocking act came from Google. It blocked Press TV’s Gmail and YouTube channels. Although the YouTube channels are open to public view (for now), the administrators cannot upload (publish) any new content.

Google has so far refused to provide any explanation for partially disabling Press TV’s account (you can still view their past uploads). Would Iranian regime lawyers sue Google? That did not happen before. This is not the first time that Google has blocked Press TV’s YouTube channels.

The original Press TV’s YouTube channel was established in December 2009. It was closed in September 2013. Then a new channel was opened, that alo was shut almost two months later. Third channel was opened, but it was blocked after five months. The fourth channel, however, remained active with over 270,000 subscribers until it was closed yesterday without any prior notice for what Google calls “violation” of its terms and policies.

This is just the beginning of social media blocking of accounts for IRGC and any entity related to it–which basically could mean most of the regime’s leadership since IRGC is tasked with preserving the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the ideals of the 1979 revolution (they are inseparable).

Twitter will have the biggest clean up act if it chooses to take it on. Both Ali Khamenei (IRI leader) and Hassan Rouhani (IRI president) have active English language twitter accounts although Rouhani does not have any new tweets since 9/25/18! Currently on Twitter, the hashtag #BlockIRGC is getting plenty of usage.

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Thanks !

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