abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

8 Oct 2021

Human Rights Watch

HRW accuses Facebook of censoring Palestinian content, incl. about human rights abuses carried out in Israel & Palestine during May 2021 hostilities

"Israel/Palestine: Facebook Censors Discussion of Rights Issues", 08 October 2021

Facebook has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including about human rights abuses carried out in Israel and Palestine during the May 2021 hostilities. The company’s acknowledgment of errors and attempts to correct some of them are insufficient and do not address the scale and scope of reported content restrictions, or adequately explain why they occurred in the first place.


...In one instance, Instagram removed a screenshot of headlines and photos from three New York Times opinion articles for which the Instagram user added commentary that urged Palestinians to “never concede” their rights…

All of these posts were removed for containing “hate speech or symbols” according to Instagram. These removals suggest that Instagram is restricting freedom of expression on matters of public interest…

Users and digital rights organizations also reported hundreds of deleted posts, suspended or restricted accounts, disabled groups, reduced visibility, lower engagement with content, and blocked hashtags


The company responded by acknowledging that it had already apologized for “the impact these actions have had on their community in Israel and Palestine and on those speaking about Palestinian matters globally,”…


…According to Facebook’s periodic transparency reporting on how it enforces its policies, [the Company] indicated that through the use of its automated tools it had detected 99.7 percent of the content it deemed to potentially violate its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy before a human flagged it…


Processes intended to remove extremist content, in particular the use of automated tools, have sometimes perversely led to removing speech opposed to terrorism, including satire, journalistic material, and other content that would, under rights-respecting legal frameworks, be considered protected speech….