Iran accuses Meta of “hate speech” and endangering national security and wants to sue the US company. It is unclear how this is to be done.
Iran wants to sue the US technology company Meta Platforms for “baiting” in connection with the system-critical protests in the country. “The two social networks Instagram and WhatsApp (from Meta Platforms) were involved as part of our enemies’ conspiracy operations in spreading hate material and endangering our national security,” Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi said on Monday, according to the Mehr news agency. National security is the “red line” of the system. It is not known exactly how the Ministry of the Interior intends to take legal action against Meta Platforms.
Shortly after the protest demonstrations three weeks ago, the government not only massively restricted the internet but also blocked the two apps Instagram and WhatsApp, which are extremely popular in Iran. The government wanted to avoid communication between demonstrators and the publication of information and videos during the protests. This worked for a while, but people gradually found other channels to publish their videos.
The protests were triggered by the death of the Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini (22) in police custody on September 16. She is said to have worn her headscarf incorrectly. While the protests were initially directed against the rigorous dress code that the Iranian leadership has imposed on women since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, demonstrators are now raising the issue of the system.
According to Deputy Interior Minister Mirahmadi, the protests are controlled by Iran’s enemies, mainly Israel and the USA, via the Internet. Most reports and videos on social media are said to have been faked or manipulated. “The number of victims, in particular, is not true,” he said. Numbers would only be published when all investigations were completed.
The strange and sometimes bizarre statements made by the Iranian authorities about the protests were acknowledged on social media with the hashtag “silent”. Officials were urged to say nothing rather than “speak nonsense”.