Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009.
(photo credit: REUTERS/CAREN FIROUZ)
Twitter hid and then removed a tweet attributed to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in which he cited an execution order against British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie.
Twitter said it removed the tweet because of incitement.
Khamenei apparently tweeted to his 550,000 followers (550,000), recalling a 1989 death threat made by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against Rushdie for the author’s book The Satanic Verses.
According to the tweet from @khamenei_ir, the Iranian leader said Rushdie’s death was mandated by God and was therefore irreversible.
A Twitter spokesperson said it is against Twitter policy to publish specific threats of violence, or to call for serious physical injury, death or illness of a person or group of person. The social media giant decided to take down the tweet and convert it to read-only mode, so that no further comments could be posted.
However, it did not shut down Khamenei’s account, saying enforcement could be handled at the level of the tweets.
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