“Facebook censors Jerusalem”… Campaign against Facebook’s censorship

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Activists and journalists said they have started a campaign against Meta’s policies, which target Palestinian content and the Palestinian narrative.

The campaign comes after the social media giant removed and suspended several Palestinian pages and thousands of accounts, including news pages.

Most removals targeted Palestinian journalists, who routinely cover Israeli crimes and violations against Palestinians’ human rights.

As part of the campaign, activists denounced “the double standards policy” followed by the Meta platforms. “While [Meta] is escalating its crackdown on the Palestinian narrative under flimsy pretexts, it does not lift a finger about the Israeli incitement, which calls for the killing and apprehension of Palestinians, especially after the recent incident at the Chain Gate in occupied Jerusalem,” read the campaign’s statement.

The campaign accused Meta of ignoring the Palestinian narrative that has shed light on the crimes of the Israeli occupation in occupied Jerusalem, saying that the “Facebook algorithms strictly censor any pro-Palestinian content, and do not take into account what’s happening on the ground in Palestine. ”

“These algorithms have forced many people, political parties, party leaders and others who are highly censored by Facebook to change their names to circumvent the double standards,” read the statement of the campaign. “In the meantime, many Israeli pages are freely and directly calling for the killing of Palestinians and inciting violence against them.”

The campaign stressed that Meta fully adopts the Israeli narrative by giving a free hand to Israeli content while imposing more restrictions on the Palestinian narrative. It added that the Meta administration is gradually becoming an inherent part of the Israeli colonial regime, guided to repress the Palestinian people and eliminate their narrative, noting that hiding the violations against the Palestinian people is participation and collusion in the crimes.

The campaign stressed that the Palestinian content is facing real danger especially after developing algorithms, which removes posts that include names of Palestinian political parties or officials, like Hamas, IJ, PFLP, Qassam, Saraya, and Martyr, without taking their context into consideration, which constitutes a precedent in the history of violations against the freedom of the press.

“The occupation thinks that it can use its relations with Meta to eliminate the Palestinian narrative, which has been formed through the blood and agony of the Palestinian people”, the campaign said. “Our narrative is greater than a bogus virtual world, which will never prevent its spread to the world.”

The campaign called on activists in Palestine and around the world to use the hashtag “FBCensorsJerusalem” to support the Palestinian narrative and the right of Palestinian journalism in publishing the truth without any restrictions.

In one year only, the Facebook platform removed over 350 Palestinian pages while at the same time kept thousands of Israeli pages, which incite against Arabs. The company has officially acknowledged that it accepts 90% of requests by the Israeli government to remove Palestinian accounts and pages. The Israeli minister, who is responsible for communication with Meta, has been known for racist anti-Palestinian comments, calling for the elimination of Palestinian mothers and children.

Last month, the company said it will allow an independent body to launch an investigation into content moderation of Arabic and Hebrew posts after the tech giant was accused of removing and suppressing pro-Palestine content, while allowing hate speech and incitement by Israelis, however, it even increased its attack on Palestinian content.

The announcement came after a report by The Intercept revealed Facebook’s secret blacklist, upon which the social media giant depends in censoring content. The blacklist includes dozens of Palestinian figures and organizations and zero Israeli targets.

The campaign said it will continue to post using the hashtag in addition to a series of local and international activities, which will be announced later.

Palestinian journalists and activists have called for a massive Twitter storm using the hashtag #FBCensorsJerusalem on Wednesday, Nov 24, at 7:00 pm (Jerusalem), 5:00 pm (GMT), in protest of Meta’s crackdown on pro-Palestinian content on its Facebook platform.

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(Source / 23.11.2021)

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