The global social media giants like Twitter and Facebook willingly banned Trump from their media platforms, but the real censorship is applied on the Palestinians, rounded up in Gaza.
But also the ones hiding in the occupied West Bank or trying to make a living after being deported into huge open air refugee concentration camps in war-thorn Syria and Lebanon.
Israel is using this for its political aim to silence Palestinians, while they’re using hate speech as a political tool to cover up their crimes committed?
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media behemoths have faced criticism over the years for allowing misinformation and dangerous incitement to run rampant on their platforms.
Yet while these companies seem to fail at controlling right-wing propaganda, they’ve had no problem suppressing content during the US elections or on derailed Palestine.
According to Palestinian non-governmental organization Sada Social Center, Palestinian Facebook pages saw their content’s reach dip by more than 50%, and in some cases, by more than 80%.
Sada Social attributes the steep decline to coverage of Arab countries’ normalization agreements with Israel. As a result, Palestinian media have been restricted, and were unable to convey their national message
Most of the pages that brought fabricated complaints to us are followed by millions of users through Facebook,” Sada Social wrote in their report. “These pages actively participated in covering the issue of Arab normalization with the Israeli occupation recently.
In response to the increasing censorship, The Palestinian Content Protection Initiative—a group of media outlets, activists, and journalists working to defend Palestinian content online, called for a two-hour boycott of Facebook on January 9th, 2021.
The administrations of social media websites have been pursuing, targeting, and restricting the publishing and access of Palestinian pages and accounts, and in full coordination with the Israeli occupation government.
Facebook’s targeting of Palestinian content isn’t new. The social media titan has a long history of working with Israeli authorities to remove Palestinian information.
Under the guise of hate speech, Facebook cracks down on content often related to certain keywords or topics such as “Hamas” or “Zionism?
“A lot of times this is done through artificial intelligence, which the companies are really being pushed to use under increasing pressure from governments and the public to respond to hate speech.
But it’s not just automatic processes that are determining what’s permitted on social media. The Israeli government has orchestrated a systematic campaign through Facebook to ensure content related to the Palestinian cause is removed.
The Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked stated that ‘Facebook, Google, and YouTube are complying with up to 95% of Israel’s requests to delete content that the Israeli government says incites Palestinian violence.
This shows a significant focus on Palestinian content and efforts to label Palestinian political speech as incitement to violence.
These requests are done through the Ministry of Justice’s Cyber Unit, which was established in 2015. Even Facebook’s own personnel appear to be in bed with Israel.
Currently, Emi Palmor, Israel’s former Justice Ministry director-general, sits on Facebook and Instagram’s Oversight Board — a committee responsible for content moderation.
There’s pressure on Facebook to expand the definition of anti-Semitism, and we know that the intention of this is to censor those critical of Israel, Palestinians and human rights supporters.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform for Palestinians, but it’s not the only one restricting their content. TikTok recently removed the account belonging to Palestinian news organization, Quds News Network (QNN).
The account manager, Hamzah al-Shobaki, said it was deleted after sharing 1,200 posts about Arab countries’ normalization with Israel. TikTok has since reinstated the account, claiming a violation error led to the account’s removal.
Many other Palestinian media sources have also had their Twitter and Facebook accounts removed over the years, while the Israeli propaganda media keeps on fabricating news.
Content that’s being uploaded in the Palestinian Territories is being treated differently than the content uploaded by Western countries. These policies are discriminatory and overly surveying and censoring Palestinians.
This won’t just silence Palestinians, but it’ll silence human rights defenders, and it will show other governments how to use hate speech to silence and censor people.
Mint Press / ABC Flash Point Media Propaganda News 2021.