Facebook shuts down Palestinian news site

415285
(photo: Dado Ruvic / Reuters)

The Israeli Justice Ministry has asked Facebook to disable 12,351 Palestinian accounts.

By Adam Rasgon | The Jerusalem Post | Mar 25, 2018


“While Facebook is taking action against Palestinian content, it is not even paying attention to inciting posts by Israelis.”
— Iyad Rifai, coordinator of Sada Social, an NGO documenting Facebook’s actions against Palestinian accounts


Over the weekend, Facebook disabled the account of Safa, a Gaza-based Palestinian news site; it had almost 1.3 million followers.

Safa is widely seen as sympathetic to Hamas, but an employee at the news site said in a phone call that the media outlet is “independent” and “has no relationship with Hamas.”

Facebook disabled Safa’s account, along with the accounts of 10 Safa editors, just after 5 pm on Saturday, without issuing a warning or providing an explanation, a manager of Safa’s social media team told The Jerusalem Post.

“We were totally surprised,” said the social media manager, who asked not to be named. “We are now working to restore the account because 60% of [the] website’s traffic comes through Facebook.”

Continue reading “Facebook shuts down Palestinian news site”

Journalists protest Facebook’s suppression of Palestinian accounts

palestine_journalists_facebook_xcomplicitx_in_israeli_crimes_1718483346
Palestinian journalists protesting Facebook in Gaza City. (photo: @jscommittee / Facebook)

Facebook had been working with Israeli Government officials to suppress Palestinian voices in social media through censorship, removal or blocking of content deemed critical of Israel.

By Telesur | Mar 7, 2018


“[Nothing happens] to Israelis who publish a status calling for killing Palestinians. But if Palestinians post any news about something happening on the ground or done by an Israeli soldier, Facebook [may] close the account or the page, or delete the post.”
— Salama Maarouf, Hamas spokesman


On Monday, dozens of Palestinian journalists protested social media giant Facebook’s routine blocking of accounts from the Middle Eastern country.

According to Al-Jazeera, the media workers gathered outside the United Nations office in Gaza City with banners that read “Facebook is complicit in [Israel’s] crimes” and “Facebook favors the [Israeli] occupation.”

The protest was organized by Palestinian NGO Journalists Support Committee.

Continue reading “Journalists protest Facebook’s suppression of Palestinian accounts”

Facebook deleting Palestinian accounts at Israel’s direction

f8-facebook-mark-zuckerberg-0112
Facebook founder, Chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. (photo: James Martin, CNET)

Facebook compliant with Israeli and US requests that border on curtailing free speech.

By Glenn Greenwald | The Intercept | Dec 30, 2017


One can create a fantasy world in one’s head, if one wishes, in which Silicon Valley executives use their power to protect marginalized peoples around the world by censoring those who wish to harm them. But in the real world, that is nothing but a sad pipe dream. Just as governments will, these companies will use their censorship power to serve, not to undermine, the world’s most powerful factions.


In September of last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted “incitement.” The meetings — called for and presided over by one of the most extremist and authoritarian Israeli officials, pro-settlement Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — came after Israel threatened Facebook that its failure to voluntarily comply with Israeli deletion orders would result in the enactment of laws requiring Facebook to do so, upon pain of being severely fined or even blocked in the country.

The predictable results of those meetings are now clear and well-documented. Ever since, Facebook has been on a censorship rampage against Palestinian activists who protest the decades-long, illegal Israeli occupation, all directed and determined by Israeli officials. Continue reading “Facebook deleting Palestinian accounts at Israel’s direction”

NJ community center targeted in Facebook hate campaign

636433426542818651-palestinian-american-community-center2
Students doing homework at the Palestinian American Community Center in Clifton, NJ. (photo: Viorel Florescu)

In just a few hours, more than 400 Facebook posts accused the community center of being “terrorists, terrorist sympathizers and liars.” Many of the posts came from Israel.

By Hannan Adely / NorthJersey.com / Oct 11, 2017


“It was very shocking because of the fact that it has nothing to do with the center. It was blatant that it was people who don’t know our center and have never been to our center writing these hateful comments. . . . It’s very clear that it’s hate speech. “It’s a group of people that don’t like the general idea of what we’re about and they’re being hateful for it.”
— Rania Mustafa, Executive Director of PACC


Hundreds of negative online messages flooded the Facebook pages of a community center in Clifton and a Rutgers student group over the weekend, in what appeared to be an organized effort targeting them for their support of Palestinian causes.

Some commenters accused the Palestinian American Community Center and the Rutgers chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine of being terrorists, terrorist sympathizers and liars — allegations the groups dismissed as politically motivated smears.

Rania Mustafa, executive director of the community center, said 400 posts were written on the center’s Facebook page over just a few hours on Sunday morning. The posts were attached to one-star reviews that drove the community center’s rating from a 4.8 out of five to a 1.8.

Continue reading “NJ community center targeted in Facebook hate campaign”

Human Rights Activist Arrested for Facebook Post

issa
Human rights activist Issa Amro being apprehended by Israeli security forces in an undated photo. (photo: Mairav Zonszein / +972 Magazine)

Issa Amro declares hunger strike as he remains under detention by the Palestinian Authority because of Facebook post.

By Ariel Gold / Youth Against Settlements, via email
September 5, 2017


“All my writings on social media are part of the freedom of opinion and expression stipulated by the Palestinian Basic Law and are protected by all international laws and conventions. My arrest will not affect my defense of human rights and the rights of journalists to exercise their work freely and without pressure from the government.”
— Issa Amro


Yesterday morning, Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro was arrested by Palestinian Authority police for posting a message on Facebook stating that the PA should respect freedom of expression after it arrested journalist Ayman Qawasmi. That was yesterday morning around 10:00 AM, Palestine time. Issa is still in custody almost 30 hours later. His detention has now been extended and Issa has declared he is on hunger strike, refusing all food, water and medicine until he is released.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups have condemned the PA’s detention of Issa and called for his immediate release. He was arrested under a new law issued by the PA that gives it broad powers to arrest and imprison Palestinians for statements made online that harm “national unity” and to block access to websites. The PA, which was created under the Oslo Accords during the 1990’s and was supposed to be a temporary body on the way to statehood, operates under the overall control of Israel’s occupying army.

Continue reading “Human Rights Activist Arrested for Facebook Post”

Clergy on Twitter: A Sermon in 140 Characters

bn-qr575_tpoint_j_20161108112130
Bishop Gregory H. Rickel takes a selfie with the choir at St. Columba Church in Kent, WA (Photo courtesy of Jenny Jimenez)

More ministers, priests and rabbis see Facebook, Instagram and other social media as a core part of ministries; posting on martyrs and movies

By Clare Ansberry / The Wall Street Journal
November 8, 2016


Social media is as much a ministry as visiting the sick in hospitals. “It’s where we need to be,” Bishop Coyne says. “It goes to the core of spreading the good news.”


Every morning, Burlington, Vt., Bishop Christopher Coyne wakes at 5:30 in his rectory home, prays, reads Scripture, and comes up with the day’s first tweets. By 8 a.m., his followers on Twitter and Facebook know the day’s saint and gospel reading and the latest news from the pope. In the evening, the Catholic bishop often posts again — a short video of his visit to a school or a picture of dinner, like the pork cutlets with a cherry-tomato-and-caper sauce that he recently made. For him, social media is as much his ministry as visiting the sick in hospitals. “It’s where we need to be,” he says. “It goes to the core of spreading the good news.”

After arriving at a new post in Olympia, Wash., Episcopal Bishop Greg Rickel, a former hospital administrator with a master’s degree in communications, hired an internet strategist to update church websites and a young hipster communications director to offer classes on Twitter for clergy and set up Facebook pages for small rural churches. Bishop Rickel blogs about gun violence and the Central American refugee crisis, and posts his sermons on his webpage, below a picture of him taking selfies with children. His goal, in part, is to reach those 35 and younger. “We have to learn their language and the world they live in,” says the 53-year-old bishop, whose Facebook home page features a picture of him with his surfboard.

[Continue reading here . . . ]