Is Facebook Censoring Information on Israel and Palestine?

Facebook made mainstream media headlines last week when it censored a photograph of a breastfeeding mother.  As Facebook has increasingly become a platform for organizing and debate, many are finding their content disappearing.

The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF), which describes itself as a “non-violent protest group who share concerns about antisemitic online content, as well as content which promotes terrorism on sites including Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google Earth, Blogger, and other sites and forums throughout the internet,” has expressed concern over the censoring of their content on Facebook (despite the fact that they seem to be pro-censorship themselves):

* ….. by clicking on link on Facebook which takes people here, which is a story about the terrorist organization responsible for the attacks in Mumbai being involved on Facebook itself. It was a topic of a conversation in a Facebook group, which originally occurred here: www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2204704082&topic=6904 (as you can see in the screencap)

* However, now that conversation is gone! What happened to it, Facebook? This is not the first time we have noticed this phenomenon. Many threads in various pro-Israel and pro-JIDF groups have mysteriously disappeared!

* It seems Facebook is extremely active in censoring content which might be “anti-Facebook” to some extent, yet the Jew hatred and promotion of Islamic terrorism remains.

* We tried to send the following message out to all our JIDF Facebook group members over 5 hours ago and it is either not going to go through, seriously delayed, or Facebook is censoring our content:

While JIDF believes that “Jew hatred and promotion of Islamic terrorism” remains on Facebook, it seems that supporters of Palestine and Gaza are finding their content censored as well. Rebelliousgirl expressed on Twitter that Facebook has prevented her from using hashtags:

Jordanian blogger Jad Madi, who describes himself as simply “Middle Eastern,” changed his name to “Gaza Jad Madi” today after discovering Facebook's alleged biases:

Facebook started to delete anti zionist content, we need to draw the maximum attention to Gaza cause, changing your first name into Gaza should help.

My name now is Gaza Jad Madi

The blog to which Gaza Jad Madi links is Shuger Cuebs, which asks: “Is Facebook Violating Our Right to Free Expression?” The Palestinian blogger writes:

A friend of mine had to go through such an irritating experience with the facebook administration; according to Ibrahim Mughrabi, facebook has deleted content on his personal profile related to the “Zionist attacks on Gaza”. He says he’s been contacted by the administration and warned that he’d be suspended from posting stuff on facebook if he continues to do so!

So much for free speech and equal rights for everyone in this world.

Have you experienced censorship on Facebook? Let us know.

45 comments

  • I noticed this censorship as well, but didn’t believe it was actually happening. Until my links to two LA Times and NY Times op-eds mysteriously disappeared, as did my link to a ynet article. These are all mainstream media articles, what is going on? Social networking sites and other blogs are the last viable platform many people in the developing world have to protest their government’s actions. If facebook engages in rampant (and this would definitely qualify as rampant) censorship then it becomes just a meaningless site for people to post their new year’s eve pictures and find old highschool boyfriends. I feel like I’m going to wake up in an Orwell novel – what is happening here?

  • Arab

    My profile was disabled.
    I always posted political allegation (my position is what can be called of a “moderate arab).
    But since the offensive on Gaza I was updating my statuses twice a day,with news or opinions.However my status today was :”Masada syndrome isnt just israeli,its also palestinian.Hail to Gaza,resist to death”.the status didnt want to post easily,and i received the warning (but i didnt notice it as my email was closed),so i clicked again on post and went out to meet some friends.when i opened FB tonight it was disabled.
    Freedom of expression?the side and the other side?Im afraid this is just illusion…

  • Arab, this is more than an illusion. This is appearing to be fact throughout the world. We, the human people, of all entire nations, do NOT have the free will to do as we please, we can’t say what we want, we can’t marry who we want, we can’t live where we want, we can barely eat what we want, everything has changed, EVERYTHING, what is happening in gaza has only proved to me AGAIN that this entire WORLD, not just the american government, don’t care about the future generations, our children.
    We stand back and we let this stuff happen.
    Worldwide Strike , don’t go to work, until someone takes the balls to go in and end this.
    May God watch over the people of Gaza and their children.

  • […] Grupos y páginas de Facebook apoyan a israelíes o palestinos desde que comenzaron los bombardeos sobre Gaza y el conflicto que mantienen se recrudeció, sin que aparentemente esa red social ejerza ningún control censor. Sin embargo, Global Voices informa de que varios usuarios han denunciado que desaparecen contenidos relacionados …. […]

  • […] niresaka ny adihevitra amin'ny sivana misy eo amin'ny Facebook sy ny YouTube ny Global Voices, […]

  • […] …oder auch nicht so wirklich. Anscheinend kann die Zuckerberg AG den Dingen doch nicht so ganz den freien Lauf lassen. Beiträge, die zu der aktuellen Lage im Gaza-Streifen eine pro-israelische oder pro-palästinensische Seite einnehmen werden anscheinend auf mysteriöse Weise gelöscht. […]

  • […] Read the full article here. […]

  • […] There has been at least one crude hoax story on the blogosphere but that was rapidly rooted out. According to Global Voices there is an interesting cyber-battle on Facebook alleging that Israeli intelligence has attempted to sabotage pro-Palestinian Groups. Some Facebook users also claim their posts have been censored. […]

  • […] se recrudeció, sin que aparentemente esa red social ejerza ningún control censor. Sin embargo, Global Voices informa de que varios usuarios han denunciado que desaparecen contenidos relacionados ….Las denuncias provienen de simpatizantes de ambos bandos. Por un lado, la Jewish Internet Defense […]

  • I have put my status as ‘ free GAZA now- stop the massacre’…..am patiently waiting for them to bounce me.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site