Facebook temporarily suspends accounts of Palestinian journalists

//Facebook temporarily suspends accounts of Palestinian journalists

Facebook temporarily suspends accounts of Palestinian journalists

By | 2016-09-26T18:24:39+00:00 September 26th, 2016|Sci/Tech|0 Comments

Facebook has suspended the accounts of a number of employees of Palestinian news networks, Al Jazeera reports.

According to the report, four editors from the Shehab News Agency as well as three executives from the Quds News Network were blocked from accessing their accounts last week. Both news networks are based in the West Bank.

Translator and journalist for Quds, Nisreen al-Khatib, told Al Jazeera that the company believes the accounts were suspended following recent campaigns by Israel pushing the social media giant to combat incitement shared by its users.

When the news agency contacted Facebook over the suspensions, the company replied with an apology, saying that the suspensions were an “accident,” said Al Jazeera.

The account of the executives with the Quds News Network have since been reinstated, as have three of the four accounts of the Shehab News Agency editors.

One account, however remained suspended as of early Monday.

“One manager’s account is still suspended,” Shehab News Agency manager Remah Mubarak told Al Jazeera.

Mubarak went on the allege that Israel was attempting to hide coverage of it’s actions in the West Bank, which the news agencies report on.

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have repeatedly stated the popular social network is used to encourage attacks against Israelis.

Meanwhile, the United States Federal Court in Brooklyn told Facebook on Friday that the California based social media giant has a responsibility to prevent the networking and connection of terrorists, the Jerusalem Post daily reports.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis told Facebook’s attorney, “Let us put the law aside a minute and talk about reality here. Reality is that people are communicating through the social media (which) has the potential of hooking people up to do very, very dangerous, bad and harmful things to other people in terms of international and domestic terrorism.”

Facebook is “basically putting together… people who would like to be involved in terrorism with people who are terrorists,” the judge continued, adding “Doesn’t Facebook have some moral obligation” to prohibit such connections?

Judge Garaufis is presiding over a case in which some 20,000 Israelis are suing Facebook in efforts to get the company to do more to combat incitement on its platform.

In a Hebrew-language statement from July, Facebook asserted that it works “on a regular basis with security organizations and policy makers throughout the world, including in Israel, in order to ensure that people know how to use Facebook safely.

The Israeli Defense Forces announced Sunday that so far in 2016, 145 Palestinians have been indicted for incitement.

The announcement came a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed that activity be increased against Palestinian incitement on social networks, including expanded action not only on Facebook, but other platforms as well, with the goal of removing inflammatory content ahead of the Jewish High Holy Days.