Facebook has shut down the page of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, apparently because of a picture of the late Yasser Arafat carrying a weapon, the movement said.
“We received a message that our page violated Facebook’s regulations,” Munir Al-Jaghub, a media officer with Fatah and one of the page’s administrators, told AFP.
The accounts of the 12 administrators of the page, which according to Al-Jaghub had 70,000 followers, were also suspended for 30 days.
— Ma'an News Agency (@MaanNewsAgency) February 27, 2017
A photo of Arafat holding a rifle that belonged to an Israeli soldier captured in the 1980s by Palestinians in Beirut that had featured on the page was attached to the message.
Standing next to Arafat is Mahmud Al-Aloul, the recently elected Fatah deputy chairman.
Israeli ministers met with Facebook last year. Reports following the visit stated that “the Israeli government and Facebook have agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on the social media network.”
— Free Black Man (@Delo_Taylor) February 28, 2017
Israel has also passed a bill that would allow a court to order companies such as Facebook to remove material considered “incitement” by Israel. It’s believed that Israeli requests to remove a Facebook page have been accepted in 95 per cent of cases.
Critics say that Facebook is eager to appease Israeli officials by working directly with Israeli government to determine what content should be censored. They also suspect that the joint Facebook-Israel censorship efforts will be directed at Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians who oppose the Israeli occupation.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)