Iran's flagship state-run international English language news broadcaster says Facebook has deleted its page "without warning" or "any explanation" on Tuesday.
The account had nearly four million followers before disappearing, with Iranian state sources indicating the ban is "permanent".
PressTV had already faced repeat instances of targeted censorship, for example its YouTube channel being subject to removals and blockages, over what it says are its political stances which run counter to US and Israeli foreign policy.
According to an English language statement by the outlet:
In a notification upon taking down the page early on Tuesday, the US-based social media giant said the decision was "final," adding that it could not provide additional information for "safety and security reasons."
Over the past years, Facebook — along with YouTube, Twitter and Google — have repeatedly targeted Press TV among other media outlets of Iran and the countries critical of the West and the Israeli regime’s occupation of Palestine.
The timing of the action is interesting given it not only comes amid the broader ongoing US-based big tech purge of pro-Trump as well as independent media accounts, but comes at a moment Mike Pompeo and the administration continue to ramp up anti-Iran rhetoric, which includes on Tuesday Pompeo charging that Tehran and al-Qaeda are working together to plot acts of terror.
Google had blocked access to PressTV multiple times over past years. Similarly it had taken action to remove Syria's state-run SANA from its search engine.
The #BigTech censorship will blow into their face. You can't purge everyone & still keep your dominance. After blocking accounts from Left to Right, @Facebook now takes aim at #PressTV & takes down its page with almost 4 million followers. pic.twitter.com/uvmok94nRX— Ahmad Noroozi (@ANoroozee) January 12, 2021
Lately Twitter and Facebook have come under intense public criticism and scrutiny, including from US administration officials, for targeting Trump and his supporters in the US while at the same time allowing foreign despots to have accounts that amass millions of followers through which they can freely propagandize masses of people using the platforms.