Human rights group slams Meta for ‘silencing’ pro-Palestinian voices on FB, Insta

US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Meta of removing or restricting pro-Palestinian content on Facebook and Instagram even when it did not violate the company’s rules.

“Meta’s policies and practices have been silencing voices in support of Palestine and Palestinian human rights on Instagram and Facebook in a wave of heightened censorship of social media amid the hostilities between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups that began on October 7,” the group said in a report released on Thursday.

HRW cited “systemic online censorship,” reporting over 1,050 “takedowns and other suppression of content” on Instagram and Facebook from more than 60 countries during October and November.

The content in question was shared by “Palestinians and their supporters, including information about human rights abuses”.

“While this appears to be the biggest wave of suppression of content about Palestine to date, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has a well-documented record of overbroad crackdowns on content related to Palestine,” the report said.

“Hundreds of people continued to report censorship after the organization completed its analysis, meaning that the total number of cases Human Rights Watch received greatly exceeded 1,050,” it added.

The report mentioned that 1,050 cases were examined, of which 1,049 involved peaceful content in support of Palestine that had been censored or otherwise unduly suppressed, while one case involved the removal of content in support of Israel.

According to HRW, censorship on Instagram and Facebook included the removal of posts, stories and comments, suspending or disabling accounts, restricting certain features, including users’ ability to engage with posts or follow certain accounts, as well as limiting the visibility of users’ content.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit in the US has claimed that Facebook and Instagram have become a “breeding ground” for child predators targeting children for human trafficking, grooming and solicitation, and certain child exploitative content is over “10 times more prevalent on Facebook and Instagram than it is on Pornhub and OnlyFans”.

Comments are closed.