Instagram Moderators Claim Iran Offered Them Bribes To Delete Accounts

Iran reportedly tried to bribe Instagram moderators to remove disaffected accounts. A moderator stated that he had received offers of up to 10,000 euros.

A Persian-language content moderator for Instagram and a former content moderator claimed that Iranian intelligence officials offered them money to delete the Instagram accounts of journalists and anti- Iranian regime activists. "They offered me between 5,000 and 10,000 euros to delete an account. It was especially after deleting Masih Alinejad," the former critic told the British media BBC Persian.

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Alinejad is an Iranian-American author and activist. Last year, the US Justice Department said Iranian officials tried to lure the New York-based journalist to a third country to kidnap her. Both content moderators also accused some Iranian colleagues of exhibiting a "pro-regime bias" when reviewing posts on the photo-sharing service.

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The former content moderator told the BBC that he" personally knew some critics who supported the Iranian regime and took instructions from Iran."

 The man, who, like the current moderator, spoke on condition of anonymity, worked for Telus International, the third-party company responsible for handling Instagram and Facebook user reports and complaints.

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