On the eve of Social Media Day
The Journalist Support Committee: The Occupation Lurks on Palestinian Social Media and Framing it with Incitement
The Journalist Support Committee revealed that the Israeli occupation recently resorted to the use of advanced applications on the Internet to pursue Palestinian content and activists of social media sites, especially on Facebook and YouTube and other networks.
The Committee pointed out in a statement on the occasion of Social Media Day, which fell on Saturday, 30 June, that the occupation lurks on Palestinian social media sites and launches a fierce campaign on the Palestinian content, this is evident from the size of the deletion, closure and ban of Palestinian institutions, individuals and activists accounts.
The committee explained that according to an Israeli website, this new technology monitors what activists write on their pages and personal accounts on social media sites. These comments are then transferred to the assessment and classification stage in order to charge its publisher of incitement and terrorism.
The Committee confirmed, in its bi-annual report for the year 2018, that it has monitored several cases of closure of social media pages, amounting to 33 cases, in addition for the deletion of 60 Palestinian accounts, "under the pretext of publishing anti-Israeli content and exposing its crimes", while publishing was banned on more than 100 accounts against the backdrop of publishing photographs of Palestinian victims, claiming that they practiced incitement, which the Committee considered an infringement on the freedom of opinion and expression.
On January 14, 2018, the committee documented the closure of accounts belonging to well known journalists and activists on Facebook. The accounts were targeting solely for publishing news of the operations of prosecution of Ahmed Jarrar before his death.
On March 4, 2018, the Facebook administration conspired and deleted 4 pages of its site, including the Palestinian AlRay News Agency for the seventh time and for a period of one month.
On March 5, 2018, the Facebook administration deleted about 100 Palestinian accounts and pages belonging to media outlets and activists under the pretext of spreading incitement and violating publishing standards. Such accusations are only pinned to pages that expose Israeli violations. Among the deleted pages are: Al-Aqsa TV (9 times), AlRay News Agency, Safa News Agency.
It is known that the Facebook administration has recently signed an agreement with the Israeli occupation authorities to monitor the Palestinian content and delete material that jeopardizes the occupation.
On March 24, 2018, the Facebook administration also deleted the page of the Palestinian press agency Safa without sending a warning, after the number of followers reached 1.3 million. In addition to deleting the page, Facebook management has terminally disabled the page's managers and editors' personal accounts. Before the closure of the page, Facebook has consistently aimed at stopping publishing on the page for more than once and prevented the publication of images and videos in its ongoing fight against Palestinian content.
On May 2018 and 19 on charges of "incitement through Facebook," the occupation forces extended the arrest of activists Wafa'a Abu Jumaa and activist Amir Dibs from occupied Jerusalem.
On April, 25 internal Palestinian violations were registered, the majority of which were on the backgrounds of Facebook posts, where six journalists were arrested and detained, 6 others were summoned and 3 female journalists were dismissed from their jobs.
On May 2018, the Facebook administration also used the method of incitement and conspiracy with the occupation, shut down pages and accounts of more than 27 journalists and media outlets, including Palestine Today News page, Al Resalah Media page and the Palestinian AlRay News Agency. The official page of "Palestine Today" was closed without any prior warning. The accounts of a number of workers in Palestine Today were also closed, namely: Mohammed Osman, Mirna Al-Hussein, Hossam Gulzar, Liwa' Abu Rumaila, Mujahid Al-Saadi, Abdullah Al-Areed, Jihan Awad and Fida' Nasr.
On May 30, 2018, Facebook removed the page of Al-Ray News Agency for the eighth and final time.
During the month of June, the occupation held a trial for journalist Musaab Qafisha in Ofer military court on charges of incitement through "Facebook".
In the same context, the Journalist Support Committee condemns the tactics and approach carried out by Facebook's management in closing the pages of journalists and media outlets, considering it a systematic policy to implement the demands of the Israeli occupation in the fight against Palestinian content on social media.
The Committee stressed that these policies are biased to the occupation and will not discourage journalists from continuing to expose the crimes of the occupation and its criminal policies against the Palestinian people and to show their rights and struggles against the occupation.
The Committee called on the Facebook administration to back down on its decision to attack Palestinian content, which violates the basic rights of freedom of opinion and expression,And to reopen the sites and pages as soon as possible, while ensuring that these actions, which stand in the way of those who defend their right to be free from occupation, are not repeated.
The Committee considered that these actions taken against Palestinian pages violate the public policies advocated by the administration of Facebook as they were clearly subjected to blackmail and Israeli pressure to pursue the Palestinian content.
Journalist Support Committee - Palestine
2 July 2018