Twitter social media platform proceeded to close the official account of Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV and blocked most of its pages without warning, including all its news accounts, most of its software accounts, and many of its reporters’ accounts.
My account on Facebook was disabled, too, but that only makes me more proud and confident that we are stepping on the righteous path. Al-Manar is my home, my resort #شعلة_لن_تنطفئ Stop this hatred! pic.twitter.com/bsiin3rYtd
The Al-Manar accounts in English, French, and Spanish were also banned, and Al-Manar TV accused Twitter of yielding to “political pressure.”
Hezbollah’s TV station, which is based in Beirut, was banned in 2004 by the United States; a ban that was later implemented by France, Spain, and Germany.
In addition, according to the Commission of the European Communities (2007), Al-Manar TV has been unavailable in Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands, due to the station’s service and license problems outside Lebanon.
However, Al-Manar on twitter, until the closure of its account yesterday, November 2nd, was compensating enough to have its broadcasted news and messages reach globally, and its nearly one million followers on Twitter. Currently, its official account on Instagram counts with barely 1,370 followers.
Al-Manar TV first began broadcasting from Beirut, on 4 June 1991. It received its license from the Lebanese government in 1997 and evolved by 2000 into broadcasting via satellite.
According to the US department of treasury in 2006, “Al Manar is the media arm of the Hezbollah” and, as per the station manager back then, it “belongs to Hezbollah culturally and politically.” By 2004, its daily viewers worldwide were estimated at about 10M.
There have been fierce complains from pro-Hezballah people on twitter and on the streets in reaction to the shut down of the Al-Manara Twitter facilities, with most citing “lack of democracy” and “infringement of freedom of speech” and the likes of civic rights.
Civic rights that they did not allow the Lebanese peaceful protesters, in the streets of Beirut and Nabatieh, who got assaulted violently for practicing peacefully their rights for democracy and freedom of speech.