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‘Systematic censorship’ of Palestinian content on social media alarms many

By Maria Weldali - Apr 17,2022 - Last updated at Apr 17,2022

Palestinians kept at bay by Israeli soldiers during confrontations at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque compound, on Friday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Jordanians have expressed dissatisfaction with social media companies’ “systematic censorship” of the recent Israeli violence at Al Aqsa, amid the platforms’ focus and empathy towards Ukrainians.

“What is happening now with Palestinian content suppression is not new,” Baraa Ahmad, a Jordanian social media expert, told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

A considerable number of photos and videos of Ukraine were published on Instagram, but meanwhile, there has been a “systematic social media repression when it comes to Palestine”, she added.

Ahmad said that, “We support Ukrainians without any doubt, but what is happening now proves that even social media platforms are trying to silence us, while at the same time those platforms are key tools in showing Ukrainians’ suffering”.

Ahmad called on people to report instances of “discriminatory censorship” and to raise awareness of the issue.

Lina Kareem, a Jordanian social media user, was posting videos and stories on violence in Al Aqsa when Instagram took down two stories she posted, she told The Jordan Times. 

“Palestinians are unable to let the world know what is happening to them, they are even facing digital occupation,” Kareem said, noting that whenever she has a story related to Palestine, the number of views is “drastically” reduced without any warnings.

Sana Hussein, who has over 20k followers on Instagram, told The Jordan Times that lately she has faced account blockage, due to posting videos of Israeli forces breaking into Al Aqsa.

“Some of your previous posts did not follow our Community Guidelines. If you post something that goes against our guidelines again, your account may be deleted, including your posts, archive, messages and followers,” Hussein said the Instagram message read.

“Taking down Palestinian content will not limit or weaken us. And we will continue to spread the truth,” Hussein concluded.

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