The Journalists Support Committee calls for Facebook to be held accountable for its war on Palestinian content

The Committee to Support Journalists denounced today, Sunday, the continued targeting, discrimination and blocking of Palestinian content on social media, whether it was official pages, personal accounts, publications and visual materials, and its persistence in deleting the accounts of dozens of journalists and news sites during the period. Last.

In a statement, the committee said that this comes as part of a war waged by Facebook against Palestinian content, by disabling and deleting Palestinian news accounts and websites in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

She explained that journalists and activists were surprised to close their Facebook pages and accounts without notifying them, noting that the site had previously launched similar campaigns to close the accounts of Palestinian journalists from the Gaza Strip and West Bank, which increased in frequency in May of this year.

During its monthly reports, the committee has monitored more than 220 violations against digital content against journalists and media professionals since the beginning of the current year 2021.

She said, "Social media sites and platforms, and within the framework of their continuous attacks against Palestinian content in general and pages specialized in covering Jerusalem events in particular, have closed down the Meta company and deleted many of the journalists' pages and news sites, as the "Jerusalem Square" page on the Instagram platform was deleted. Yesterday, Saturday, November 27, 2021.

This came after the company deleted their Facebook page last week, on the 21st of this month, banning the accounts of the two million Palestinian pages, “Al-Quds Square” and “Al-Qastal”, on the social networking site “Facebook” and they were suspended and closed on the social networking site “Facebook”.

Also yesterday, Saturday, the administration of Facebook, one of the Asdaa network’s pages and platforms, managed by the media, Amin Abu Warda, was completely banned, and the accounts of 10 of Asda’s staff and trainees were deleted and closed at the same time as the page was closed, under the pretext of violating the standards.

During the same month, the Facebook administration deleted publications, restricted content and prevented the broadcasting of the Qamat page - documenting the Palestinian struggle, and restricted the account of journalist Muthanna Al-Najjar's personal and main page without reasons, and deleted the page of journalist Ayman Dalloul, and the account of photographer Osed Kamil, and the Shams News Agency page was disabled on Facebook, and closing the Women for Palestine page for the third time this year.

In the same way, the Instagram administration deleted the account of the photographer, Osed Kamil, and the official account of the journalist Hassan Asleh, while the Twitter administration closed the page of the “New Press” news agency.

In light of this, the Committee to Support Journalists called on the management of Meta and all social media platforms to stop pursuing Palestinian content, after it disabled dozens of Palestinian accounts and pages.

The committee considered that senior Facebook executives apologized last May for blocking Palestinian publications that dealt with the conflict with Israel, according to what was reported by Time newspaper, and admitted that there was an “embedded problem in its algorithms,” and that the site’s team promised to address it. It is nothing but fake and baseless promises.

The committee said, “The accusation by Impact International Foundation for Human Rights Policies, last year, that Israel used its relations with Facebook to fight Palestinian content in the blue cyberspace, is a clear evidence of the occupation’s clear complicity to obliterate Palestinian content.”

The committee recalled what was announced by the so-called Israeli Ministry of Justice in 2018, that the Facebook administration responded in 2017 to approximately 85% of Israel’s requests to remove, ban and provide data on Palestinian content on the communication site.

The Committee to Support Journalists called for the necessity of stopping the prosecution of Palestinian content, and reactivating the accounts that have been suspended, noting that this behavior contributes greatly to covering up Israeli violations and absenting the narrative of Palestinian victims, and flagrantly violates individuals' freedom of expression and publication.

She stressed that Facebook does not have the right in any way to restrict freedom of opinion, expression and publication, as they are inherent rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments.

She appealed to international institutions, led by the International Federation of Journalists, UNESCO and Reporters Without Borders, to put pressure on the management of the Meta company, and social media platforms that practice double standards, noting that the escalating volume of violations of Facebook should alert the international community to the need to develop accountability mechanisms. International law to include banning electronic discriminatory policies and holding private companies that pursue those policies accountable.

She also called for the need to establish special courts at the state level, pointing out that this policy is inconsistent with all international covenants and treaties that stipulate respect for freedom of opinion and expression.

The committee indicated that the aim of this restriction is to silence the Palestinian voice in light of the continuous Israeli plans, which target the Palestinian presence and uproot it from its land.

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