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Is Facebook Censoring Information on Israel and Palestine?

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Technology, War & Conflict

Facebook [1] made mainstream media headlines [2] last week when it censored a photograph [3] of a breastfeeding mother.  As Facebook has increasingly become a platform [4] for organizing and debate, many are finding their content disappearing.

The Jewish Internet Defense Force [5] (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 [6] expressed on Twitter that Facebook has prevented her from using hashtags [7]:

Jordanian blogger Jad Madi, who describes himself as simply “Middle Eastern,” changed his name [8] to “Gaza Jad Madi” today after discovering Facebook's alleged biases:

Facebook started to delete anti zionist content [9], 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 [9]:

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.