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Instagram ‘deletes account’ of Iran’s revolutionary leader

TEHRAN: Photosharing service Instagram has deleted an account dedicated to Iran’s revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini just days before the 26th anniversary of his death, Iranian media reported on Monday.

The @EmamKhomeini account, which published rare or unseen photos of the Islamic republic’s founder, had 100,000 followers before it was removed.

“Instagram in an email announced the deletion of the page … and only provided the automated generic text banning violent, pornographic or advertisement content,” according to Iranian media.

Another account @EmamKhomeiny, was created to replace it as Iran prepares to mark the anniversary Thursday of Khomeini’s death.

Iran, which has 40 million Internet users among a population of nearly 78 million, has blocked many news, political or pornographic sites and several social networks, especially Twitter and Facebook, since mass protests in June 2009 challenging the re-election of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranians use software to circumvent the restrictions.

Iran began filtering images on Instagram in late 2014 to censor content deemed “offensive” as part of a government project to selectively control social networks.

President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has pledged an easing of Internet censorship but he has faced resistance from hardliners. -AFP

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