Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Soon after notifying that it has suspended an account linked to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Twitter on Friday (January 22) clarified that it had suspended a 'fake account' of his.

A Twitter spokeswoman said the @khamenei_site account was suspended for violating the company's platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts.

Earlier this day, it was reported that the Persian-language account linked to Khamenei on the microblogging website had issued a chilling 'threat' to former US President Donald Trump.

The tweet carried the image of a golfer, resembling Trump, purportedly being targeted by a drone alongside a vow to avenge the killing of a top Iranian general in a U.S. drone attack.

The post had carried the text of remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in December, in which he said "Revenge is inevitable".

That speech renewed a vow of vengeance ahead of the first anniversary of the killing of top military commander General Qassem Soleimani in the attack in Iraq.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey had last year in October said that Khamenei's anti-Semitic tweets and his calls for the eradication of Israel didn’t violate the company’s rules because they were only “saber-rattling".

In an earlier piece today titled "Why Twitter should ban Iran's supreme leader", a columnist at The Washington Post had argued that by making "full use of the social platforms to spread their lies", Khamenei and his allies were making sure that "the social media playing field remains starkly tiled in favour of the dictatorship".

The latest 'suspension' also comes amid a heated debate over censorship that centres around Twitter and Facebook suspending Donald Trump, then the sitting US President, from their platforms in the wake of violent riots at the Capitol Hill in Washington.

Although the social media platforms had cited "the risk of further incitement to violence" as the reason, several quarters saw the move as Big Tech's Orwellian hold over the global geopolitical discourse.

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