On Monday, dozens of Palestinian journalists protested social media giant Facebook's routine blocking of accounts from the Middle Eastern country.
According to Al-Jazeera, the media workers gathered outside the United Nations office in Gaza City with banners that read “Facebook is complicit in [Israel’s] crimes” and “Facebook favors the [Israeli] occupation.”
The protest was organized by Palestinian NGO Journalists Support Committee.
Hamas spokesperson, Salama Maarouf, accused Facebook of restricting about 200 accounts from Palestine last year and 100 more since the start of 2018. Maarouf said the social media company carried out the blocks “on phony pretexts.”
The spokesperson added that Facebook is “a major violator of freedom of opinion and expression,” adding that 20 percent of Israeli Facebook accounts “openly incite violence against Palestinians.”
“[Nothing happens] to Israelis who publish a status calling for killing Palestinians,” Maarouf said. “But if Palestinians post any news about something happening on the ground or done by an Israeli soldier, Facebook [may] close the account or the page, or delete the post.”
In December The Intercept reported that Facebook had been working with Israeli Government officials to suppress Palestinian voices in the social media through censorship, removal or blocking of content deemed critical of the Israelis with these posting being branded as “incitement.”
Two years ago, Facebook signed an agreement with Israel’s Justice Ministry to “monitor” content on Palestinian accounts, Al-Jazeera reported. The news agency added that several Palestinian journalists and activists have created Sada Social to record violations against Palestinian content on social networks.