Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- According to Lebanese media reports, social networking website Facebook has deleted all pages relating to Hezbollah, as well as the official page of al-Manar, a television station affiliated to the party, following a decision from the website’s management to stop any activities linked to the group. This is in line with the resolutions of the US government to prevent companies operating on its territory from dealing with entities who appear on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.
The Lebanese Daily Star newspaper quoted Frederic Wolens, a Facebook spokesman, as saying that this move comes within the framework of the rights and obligations of the website to not allow content that “incites violence”, and that in order to assist in making decisions in this regard, it was necessary to use the terrorism list issued by the US State Department. Because Hezbollah is on that list, its page had to be removed from Facebook in accordance with US resolutions. This also applied to al-Manar television station, and its official Facebook page was no longer accessible as of Thursday.
This move came after both Apple and Google removed al-Manar’s mobile applications from their respective stores – “Google Play” and “itunes” – last month, in a move that was warmly received by the Anti-Defamation League, an NGO seeking to combat anti-Semitism, which had sent a letter to both organizations requesting them to remove the applications.
In addition to Apple, Google and Facebook, al-Manar also has accounts on YouTube and Twitter. However, both these websites have so far not given any indication that they will prevent Hezbollah or its affiliates from using their services.
It is noteworthy that the US has increased pressure on Hezbollah in recent weeks and has applied new financial sanctions because of its ongoing connections and communications with the Syrian regime.