TikTok closes Palestinian news network account over covering pro-Palestine content

TikTok permanently closed account of Al-Qastal

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The video-focused social networking service of TikTok has permanently closed the account of a prominent Palestinian Arabic-language network over covering pro-Palestine content, as a part a campaign aimed at stifling Palestinian voices.

Al-Qastal, a well-known Palestinian network hub for Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, announced on Wednesday that TikTok closed its account over covering pro-Palestine content and documenting Israel’s ongoing violations and attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Al-Qastal noted that in 2021, TikTok also closed its account, but the network was able to restore the account.

In November 2021, Facebook also blocked Al-Qastal along with Maydan al-Quds, another Palestinian network, for the same reason which TikTok clsoed Al-Qastal account for.

Al-Qastal pointed out that Pro-Palestine networks are no strangers to such restrictions on social media as the latter have been deleting and deactivating the accounts of Palestinians and pro-Palestinians.

However, Palestinian activists and networks have always said that fighting the pro-Palestine content on social media will not deter the news outlets or Palestinians from documenting and covering what the Israeli occupation commits in Palestine to the whole world.

They have always stressed they will continue covering and documenting the Palestinian cause and will strongly stand against Israel’s ongoing stifling of the Palestinian narrative.

Sada Social Center, a Palestinian digital rights organisation specializes in protecting Palestinian narratives on social media platforms and monitoring violations, documented more than 1200 violations against Palestinian content during 2020 only.

Facebook topped the list with 801 violations, followed by Twitter with 276 violations, Instagram with 25 violations, and 10 violations on YouTube.

Thus, fighting the pro-Palestine content on social media by the platform’s administrations has become very common lately, adding that pro-Palestine content is not safe in any of these platforms, especially Facebook, which is the most used among Palestinians.

Morover, suppressing and fighting the pro-Palestine content has been in coordination with the Israeli occupation government and security agencies, on the pretext of preventing Palestinian “incitement and hate speech” on its platform, stifling the Palestinian voices while giving the Israeli narrative the complete freedom.

In 2016, Israeli occupation government and Facebook agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on the social media network, as a senior Israeli cabinet minister said at that time.

In October, 2021, the Intercept revealed that Facebook has a secret blacklist, upon which its algorithms depend on censoring content. The blacklist includes dozens of Palestinian figures and organizations while no Israeli targets.

The continuous suppressing and fighting of the Palestinian narrarive may result in a complete non-existence of the narrarive while promoting the Israeli narrative.

(Source / 05.01.2022)

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