Press TV, Iran’s state media outlet, has been blocked for some time on Facebook.
Facebook briefly removed the English-language Press TV page from its website as part of the removal of 783 Iran-related pages, accounts and groups from its service. Press TV is the Islamic State’s international news network, WIN writes.
Facebook removed the pages for what it calls “coordinated untrustworthy behavior.” That’s the social network’s term for fake accounts created to interfere with politics and elections.
However, it seems that the removal of Press TV was a mistake on Facebook’s part, as it returned the page to its platform following a complaint by the Iranian broadcaster, despite the fact that the decision was “final,” according to Press TV’s website.
Press TV posted on Twitter on Tuesday, “Facebook removes Press TV homepage without any warning or explanation.”
Three hours later, Press TV tweeted, “#Facebook just reversed the decision in response to an appeal filed by #PressTV. You can now access the Press TV Facebook page.”
Thus, it seems that, at least in the case of Press TV, the behavior of its Facebook page was not “untrustworthy,” but genuine Iranian state propaganda.
Facebook has been revealing its purges more regularly in recent months, including those related to groups in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Russia.
Facebook and Instagram accounts routinely impersonated locals from more than two dozen countries, including Afghanistan, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Facebook said Thursday that the accounts spent about $30,000 on ads paid for in U.S. dollars, British pounds, Canadian dollars and euros.
The company said Twitter helped its investigation by sharing information about suspicious activity found on its own service. Companies, as well as other high-tech corporations, are cooperating more when it comes to account deletions by sharing information.
Such cooperation can help companies avoid regulatory oversight by showing critics and lawmakers that they can ignore differences when it comes to dealing with external threats affecting their users.
The most recently deleted accounts, according to Facebook, typically represented themselves as locals from different countries, often using fake accounts and posting news about current events. This included the use of Iranian state media material about the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.