Facebook removes Gaza-based Shehab News Agency from platform

Facebook logo (Mustafa Çiftçi - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  July 14, 2021

Facebook yesterday removed the page of the Palestinian Shehab News Agency from its platform.

News Director at Shehab, Hossam al-Zayegh, described Facebook’s action as a new violation of freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by international law.

“Deleting our page is a reprehensible and condemned action which aims to fight Palestinian content under the pretext of violating standards and inciting violence,” he added.

“Facebook overlooks incitement and violation of society’s standards by Israelis or Israeli political news sites or associations while preventing the publication of the Palestinian response to these provocations and incitement,” Al-Zayegh said, explaining that the agency had more than 7.5 million followers on Facebook.

The Palestinian Journalist Bloc condemned the social media platform’s action, described it as “arbitrary and unjust”.

In 2020, the Echo Social Center documented 1,200 violations of Palestinian digital content on social media platforms.

Legal rights centre Adalah revealed in 2018 that social media giants are collaborating with Israeli authorities to censor user content.

In 2018, the Israeli Ministry of Justice said that Facebook has responded in to about 85 percent of Israel’s requests to remove, block and provide data on Palestinian content on the site throughout 2017.