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Facebook briefly pulls page used by Iranian state broadcaster

The Facebook page of Press TV was unavailable for several hours on Tuesday before it was restored.

The Facebook page of Press TV was unavailable for several hours on Tuesday before it was restored.

The logo of Iranian state broadcaster Press TV. (Graphic by The Desk)

The Facebook page used by Iranian state-run news outlet Press TV was briefly pulled from the social media site on Tuesday, according to information provided by the broadcaster.

In a Twitter post, a Press TV spokesperson said no warning was given before Facebook decided to pull the page, and it wasn’t clear why the page was removed.

Press TV officials filed an appeal with Facebook, and the page was restored a few hours later, though it lacked Facebook’s official “verified” badge.

More than 3 million people follow Press TV on Facebook. The broadcaster, which is operated by the Iranian state government, produces news reports and documentaries in English for a worldwide audience. It competes internationally with other government-run English-language news channels, including RT, Deutsche Welle and Al Jazeera English.

It’s not the first time a social media company has blocked Press TV from accessing its services: Last September, Google-owned YouTube suspended Press TV’s official account, citing “violations of export laws” as its reason behind the move.

Press TV maintains its reporting is unbiased, though it has drawn criticism for some news bulletins in the past that were viewed as skewing toward official and misleading accounts promoted by the government of Iran.

In 2012, Press TV’s broadcast license was revoked in the United Kingdom after regulators there determined the Iranian government had closer editorial control over the channel than was disclosed when it applied for the license. Press TV called the license revocation a “clear instance of censorship.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

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