Facebook concedes to demands from Israeli government, say Al-Jazeera.
The term “fake news” has been tossed around by so many different sources that it’s almost become laughable, if not a downright badge of honor. It’s basically become the go-to insult for any news you don’t like, or simply refuse to agree with.
Facebook has had more than its fair share of issues with malicious, harmful content, as well as allegations that it knowingly let foreign accounts manipulate its visibility algorithms in order to influence the last presidential election. Now, news has come out that Facebook has been deleting accounts that contain pro-Palestine, anti-Israel posts.
According to Al-Jazeera, Facebook has conceded to demands from Israel’s government to shut down accounts that “incite” unrest in the region. Many of the accounts that have been closed belong to Palestinian news sources.
“Last week, four editors from the Shehab News Agency, which has more than 6.3 million likes on Facebook, and three executives from the Quds News Network, with about 5.1 million likes, reported they could not access their personal accounts. Both agencies cover daily news in the occupied Palestinian territories. Editors at the Gaza-based Shehab News agency say that the move was hardly surprising. This is the fourth time in a year that they have been censored by the social network, says Rimah Mubarak, director of Shehab news agency.”
The Intercept links the account closures to a meeting last year between Facebook’s top executives and a minister of the Israeli government. Allegedly, the social media platform was told either close the accounts or Israel will pass laws that penalize platforms with heavy fines for allowing disparaging posts to stay up. So far, the New York Times has reported that as many as 96% of the accounts flagged by the government have been suspended.
For its part, Facebook has stated that it has zero tolerance for terrorist activity, including posts that threaten or incite violence.