Social media networks, especially Meta which includes Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, have shown clear bias towards Israel time and time again, according to information technology expert Islam Ghanem.
The headquarters of these companies is located in the US, Ghanem said, a nation with considers Israel a friend and has written off Palestinian organizations as terrorists.
Ghanem anticipates a coming mass closure of a large number of personal and institutional pages simply for sharing pure news data on the Palestinian resistance, its role and its responses. This showcases a complete bias towards one side at the expense of the other and an attempt to control the trends of public opinion on social media, he warned.
Ghanem also referred to websites like TikTok, owned by China, or news sites from Russia which serve as better alternatives as they can publish news on the crisis with complete impartiality.
The director of the Middle East and North Africa policy at Access Now, Marwa Fatafta, an international digital rights group, backed up Ghanem’s statements by saying that whenever whenever violence escalates in Gaza, Palestinian news content is scrubbed.
During the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood crisis in Palestine, approximately 90 of the content related to the topic was removed, she stated, which included posts in solidarity with the deaths of children, the elderly, and defenseless women, as well as appeals to the international community to pressure Israel to stop violence against Palestinians.
Meta erases the truth
Al-Masry Al-Youm has communicated with several press organizations since the beginning of the current war between the Palestinian-Israeli sides on October 7.
Press organizations documented warnings from Meta administration to remove posts on its pages related to the news of the Palestinian resistance or any condemnation of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip.
An official at an Egyptian news website explained that they had to use encryption measures to publish news of the Palestinian resistance on social media. Their pages still received a number of warnings against publishing Palestinian-related news, or else they would be closed.
The administrators stopped using certain words, such as the name of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas or its armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, on the pages of its press institutions to avoid being shut down.
According to several complaints, several personal pages were closed for a number of hours or days by the management of Meta, on Facebook, for publishing pictures or news of Gaza since Saturday.
An investigative report by ‘The Intercept’ website revealed that Meta deleted posts related to solidarity with Palestine and mourning the killing of Alaa Qadoum, a five-year-old Palestinian girl, in an Israeli missile attack, sharing a video clip on Instagram showing Gaza residents pulling bodies from under the rubble.
Both posts were removed with a notice claiming that the images violated Meta’s guidelines on violence or dangerous organizations.
A campaign to reduce Facebook’s rating was launched on Google Play and the App Store, which dropped its rating about to about 3.5 stars on Google Play and 1.3 stars on App Store, the lowest ratings in the history of the most widely used social media website.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm