Following the recent attack by Israeli forces in the city of Nabulus, Palestinian activists claim Meta Inc, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has been involved in digital censorship of Palestinian-related posts, especially about the assassination of Palestinian resistance figures Ibrahim al-Nabulsi.
Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a senior al-Aqsa Fatah Martyrs’ Brigades senior commander, was reportedly killed on August 9 by Israeli forces during an attack in the occupied West Bank City of Nabulus, and the ensuing firefight along with Islam and Sobhi and Hussain Jamal Taha.
Several Palestinian journalists and activists who shared photos and videos of Nabulsi after his death admitted that their posts had been restricted on various social media platforms run by Meta.
They said Instagram and Facebook removed and censored photos of the martyrs and their families, any content mentioning Nabulsi, Sobhi, and Tatham, and content mourning their deaths right after news of their murders spread.
The video showing Nabulsi’s mother speaking to the crowd and carrying her son’s body during his funeral was among the posts censored by Meta.
Sada Social, a social media rights group, reported that Meta’s suspension of Palestinian content and accounts on social media primarily targets journalists and activists based in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
The report shows that at least 75 activists’ and journalists’ accounts were banned and deleted on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter, within 24 hours of Nabulsi’s death for no apparent reason.
Media Coordinator at Sada Social, Nidaa Bassoumi, added that Meta has a “double standard” in carrying out digital censorship as evidenced by videos of Israeli troops showing them attacking Nablus and killing Palestinians free of censorship.
According to Bassoumi, Meta’s practice of limiting references to various figures and concepts related to the Palestinian resistance on the grounds of “violating community standards” has been going on for a long time. Bassoumi explained that this has happened since the Israeli government and major social media platforms, including Facebook, agreed to control Palestinian-related content in 2016.
Sada Social noted that there were at least 425 digital violations against Palestinian content on social media during the first half of 2022 alone.