Facebook employees are concerned that Facebook is once again bungling a politically charged subject with the potential for violence. It deals with internal allegations of censorship, unequal enforcement, and pro-Israel bias.
Facebook is losing trust among Arab usersa Facebook software engineer from Egypt wrote in an open note to his colleagues earlier this month.
Amid the Arab Spring of 2011, he added, Facebook was a “tremendous help” for activists who used it to connect. Still, during the ongoing Palestinian–Israeli conflict, censorship — whether perceived or documented — had made Arab and Muslim people feel marginalized.
While Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease-fire, Facebook has to face employees debating whether the largest social network is biased toward Muslims and Arabs. And some worry Facebook is selectively implementing its moderation policies regarding the linked content. But they all share one thing in common is that once again, Facebook bungling enforcement decisions around a politically charged even.
The matter has erupted to the point where a group of 30 employees file internal appeals to restore information that they say was wrongly censored or removed from Facebook and Instagram.
According to one internal post, these issues made Facebook and Instagram flooded with negative reviews on both the Apple and mobile application stores.
Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said that the company already had a staff to control the situation cause they realize they had made mistakes.
According to Ashraf Zeiton, the company’s former head of policy for the Middle East and North Africa region lacks sensitivity to Palestinian content to the political environment and lack of firewalls. And this gave an advantage to Israel, where Facebook had dedicated more personnel and attention. He added the statement.
As users throughout the world complained that their posts regarding Palestinians were being censored or erased, Facebook’s growth team put up a paper on May 17 to examine how the conflict in Gaza had affected user sentiment.
The team discovered, among other things, that Israel, with 5.8 million Facebook users, was the top country in the world for reporting terrorism-related information, with roughly 155,000 complaints in the previous week.