Social media site Facebook has blocked dozens of pages belonging to Palestinian activists on Monday and Tuesday, May 5 and 6, using the vague category of “not following the community standards”. The real figure may rise as reports of more accounts being blocked are still emerging.
According to Facebook, it has already “reviewed” the decision and hence there is no grievance redressal available for those whose pages have been blocked or deleted.
Speaking to Middle East Eye, one of the activists, Imad Jibreen, who lives in the occupied West Bank, claimed that Facebook “did not provide any specific reason” for deleting his page. According to him, Facebook usually cites the specific violations before deleting or blocking.
Facebook has a history of working with the Israeli government and has deleted pages dedicated to the struggle for Palestine in the past as well. In October last year, it had deleted the page of well-known news site Palestine Information Centre. It deleted an alternative page created by the site again this February.
According to Middle East Eye, Facebook has acted on complaints filed by the Israeli government. It has deleted 95% accounts or posts reported by the Israeli government in the recent past.
Facebook and other social media sites are among the main sources of information about the Israeli occupying authorities’ daily oppressive policies and acts of aggression against the Palestinians. Blocking of the pages of Palestinian activists amounts to a violation of their right to freed speech and resistance.