Social media giants suppressed pro-Palestinian content hundreds of times: NGO

Social media giants suppressed pro-Palestinian content hundreds of times: NGO
2 min read
04 July, 2022
The Sada Social Centre, a Palestinian NGO that monitors social networking sites, said that at least 425 violations against Palestinian content published online regarding Israeli occupation and violence were made in 2022 so far.
Facebook ranked first among all social networking sites for violations against Palestinian digital content in 2022 so far [Getty]

At least 425 violations and acts of censorship against Palestinian content online have been documented throughout the first half of this year, according to an NGO.

The Sada Social Centre, a Ramallah-based NGO that monitors social networking sites, said the violations are carried out in an attempt to "fight" the Palestinian narrative with reference to occupation, violence and various other forms of injustices executed by Israeli authorities and forces.

Facebook is the social network site that suppressed Palestinian content the most in the first of half of 2022, according to Sada, with 273 violations documented.

Around 60 violations against Palestinian digital content in the form of posts, images and messages were documented on WhatsApp, with the remainder being on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter.

Meanwhile, the audio app Clubhouse, which allows for users to host "rooms" with as many or as little participants as possible, received at least 10 complaints regarding attempts to close the rooms organised by Palestinian activists, specifically in relation to events in occupied east Jerusalem.

The NGO also stated that the majority of violations against Palestinian content on social media vary from restricting posts and removing or suspending of individual accounts, notably when using terms associated with Israeli occupation, which are classified within the algorithm ban range.

Such terms include "occupation", "resistance", "martyr" and "Jenin camp", among others, usually in the Arabic language.

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The NGO also said that 97 percent of the 195 surveyed activists confirmed they had been subjected to digital content violations with respect to social media posts about the Palestinian cause.

Israeli authorities and social media platforms have a track record of censoring Palestinian content.

In May last year, several activists noted that posts in relation to the Sheikh Jarrah expulsions on Instagram were deleted for "violated the platform's community standards".

Facebook has also faced multiple accusations of "moderating" content regarding Palestine and Israel.

In a high-profile case, Palestinian-American supermodel Bella Hadid accused Instagram of "shadow-banning" her earlier this year following posts she made on Israeli violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

She said that the photo-sharing app suppressed her content "pretty much only when it’s Palestine-based".