Facebook Takes Down Content of Respected Palestinian Journalist after Issuing a Disclaimer

Facebook has removed content published by respected Palestinian journalist Ramzy Baroud. (Image: PC)

On Sep 12, Ramzy Baroud asked Facebook to stop taking down the content from his profile page. A few days later, his content was being taken down faster than before. 

The US-based technology giant Facebook has removed content published by respected Palestinian journalist Ramzy Baroud alleging that the content violates the company’s rules. 

The removal of Baroud’s content came a few days after the Palestinian journalist publicly shared a disclaimer asking Facebook not to censor his posts. 

“Facebook, please do not take this post down. We are journalists and are only reporting on the events that took place in Gaza today.”

EXPLAINER: What Did Al Jazeera Arabic Investigation Reveal about Facebook Censorship of Palestine

Several notifications appeared on Baroud’s wall shortly after notifying him that his content had been removed, without specifying the content.

Instead, the note sent to Baroud alleged that his content represents examples of “praising a terrorist organization; supporting violence against a particular group of people; (and) supporting or promoting harmful criminal activities, like human trafficking.”

Dr. Baroud is a well-known Palestinian author and academic. He is also the editor of The Palestine Chronicle, an international news network that attempts to elevate Palestinian voices in Palestine and around the globe. The network is published in three different languages: English, French and Italian. 

“I have been shadow-banned by Facebook for years,” Baroud said.

“Facebook has forced me to delete three of my professional pages dedicated to my books and speaking tours under various pretenses, without allowing me the right to challenge their decisions,” he added.

Nearly one year ago, Baroud was also banned from accessing The Palestine Chronicle Facebook pages, which are also shadow-banned by the company. Now, his remaining profile page is heavily censored and shadow-banned.

Baroud is not alone. Aljazeera program “What is Hidden is Greater” has exposed the systematic censorship of Palestinians on Facebook and its other affiliated social media apps.

The Palestine Chronicle heavily reported on Aljazeera findings. Palestine Chronicle managing editor Romana Rubeo believes that there is a direct link between Palestine Chronicle reporting and the latest censorship.

“It is obvious that Facebook is trying to send us a message that they are not intimidated by criticism and that no one is immune, including respected journalists and authors,” Rubeo said.

Rubeo, an Italian journalist, has been censored by Facebook repeatedly and was banned for various periods of time. She has also been warned that her content does not meet the company’s ‘rules and standards’.

“We are journalists, we rarely make personal statements on Facebook but report on events as they take place in Palestine,” Rubeo said.

“It is absolutely absurd that the journalist should now be held accountable for statements, images, ideologies, or political positions of people who are the subjects of professional media reporting.”

The Aljazeera program demonstrated that Israelis, including Israeli hate speech, are not subjected to this kind of monitoring.

“I plan to challenge Facebook’s censorship, although I know nothing good will come out of it,” Baroud said.

“The least we can do, however, is to expose these pro-Israel US companies for their bias, lack of professionalism and outright censorship.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out