Ramallah- In parallel with the devastating war on the ground in Gaza strip Since October 7, the Israeli occupation and the forces supporting it have been waging a fierce war against Palestinian content on social media networks in the virtual world.
As attempts to hide the Palestinian narrative continue, the Israeli narrative is unleashed, including violent incitement that amounts to death threats and the use of hate-filled and racist expressions.
Figures issued by specialized centers show millions of incitement and hate speeches in the Hebrew language specifically, in exchange for an emphasis on Palestinian content and the persecution, deletion, and reduction of access to accounts supporting Palestine.
Press coverage: The Center documented digital violations of Palestinian content in October 2023.https://t.co/aAh9qkpVGq
– Quds News Network (@qudsn) November 1, 2023
Documentation and monitoring
The Arab Center for Social Media Development (7amleh), based in Haifa, developed a linguistic model based on artificial intelligence technology in order to monitor the spread of hate speech and violence on social media platforms in the Hebrew language against supporters of Palestinian rights.
The center's director, Nadim Al-Nashif, told Al Jazeera Net that the Palestinian Observatory for Violations of Palestinian Digital Rights (Free) is the first open electronic platform to monitor, document, and follow up on violations of Palestinian digital rights.
The platform provides a tool for direct reporting of violations, and a search tool in the digital rights database according to the time period chosen by the researcher. It also displays immediate graphical indicators of the volume of spread, distribution, and interaction with violent speech in the Hebrew language, and is updated daily, with a slight margin of error, according to the platform’s developers.
The “real-time index” of violent content in Hebrew on social media platforms shows more than 3 million and 200,000 hate speeches, the overwhelming majority of which were on the platform. TwitterIt received tens of millions of interactions, “which shows hostility towards the Arabic language and leniency towards the Hebrew language,” according to Al-Nashif.
The director of the 7amleh Center spoke of hundreds of cases of reduced access and account closures in an unusual and intensive manner, “We have received hundreds of cases of account closures and reduced access, and the hashtag # hashtag has been banned.”Flood-Al-Aqsa Closing large accounts such as the Quds Media Network, and blocking comments from non-followers or friends, all of which are measures intended to silence the Palestinian voice and reduce its reach and interaction with it, considering this a “political decision.”
Upon Al Jazeera Net’s review of the violations observed on the “Hur” platform, the total number of violations reached 4,747 violations from October 7 to January 16, including 1,924 removals and restrictions of 2,811 content deemed harmful, 12 violations that reflect discrimination between digital platforms.
Sada Social monitors a campaign of digital violations of Palestinian content, specifically targeting Palestinian activists and supporters of the Palestinian cause with millions of followers, such as Moataz Azaira and Shaun King on the Instagram platform, and Muhammad al-Kurd on the X platform.
The platforms are trying to block the Palestinian voice, with requests from… pic.twitter.com/DrlcHI8aBr
— Sada Social (@SadaSocialPs) December 25, 2023
Surveillance and prosecution
For his part, the director of the “Sada Social” Center for Digital Rights, Iyad Al-Rifai, revealed to Al Jazeera Net more than 17,000 violations against Palestinian digital content after October 7, and more than 30,000 inflammatory content, 55% of which were against journalists.
He said, “20% of complaints related to violations came from Arabs and supporters of the Palestinian cause around the world.”
He added that the enforcement of censorship on pro-Palestine content has witnessed an expansion. “We have received reports about the deletion of pages in the English language, including the account of the American activist Shawn King, who has more than 6 million followers on Instagram, and the deletion of pages in the Turkish, Spanish, and Indonesian languages.”
Al-Rifai said, “Since October 7, 2023, the Sada Social Center for Digital Rights has been monitoring the publication by Israelis and supporters of Israel, around the world, of inflammatory content calling for the killing, extermination, burning of children, and the displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip andWest Bankin Hebrew and foreign languages, and issued by the Israeli, media, and popular levels.”
He added that more than 1,400 times were monitored in which the phrase “Israel has the right to defend itself” was used as a justification for the genocide in the Gaza Strip, and a call for its continuation, leading to calls by Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu to find “ways more painful than death for the Palestinians,” after he At the beginning of the war, he called for dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip.
#Facebook Ban my account..
12 million followers were affected by this arbitrary and unjust ban on both personal and public accounts due to Palestinian content.
What to do?
— Khadija Bin Qana (@Benguennak) December 5, 2023
Efforts met with intransigence
This reality has prompted Palestinian and Arab institutions to try to confront it in various ways, but the burden is heavier than their capabilities.
Regarding this move, Al-Nashif says, “The center took it upon itself to defend the Palestinian narrative, confront incitement campaigns, and communicate with the administrations of various platforms to achieve a more just space for Palestinian digital content.”
He added that the “Meta” company in particular, as a result of international pressure, had promised before the war on Gaza to review its policies towards Arabic and Hebrew content and the method of managing the two languages, while an external examination showed the existence of discrimination against Arabic content, especially Palestine, in contrast to Hebrew content.
– Al Jazeera Mubasher (@ajmubasher) December 21, 2023
The same spokesman added that the company promised various changes to make content management more fair in both languages, but the promises not only evaporated, but its management decided that the problem lies with the Palestinian side, and held it responsible for October 7.
A campaign manager referred to explicit directives from senior managers at Meta to fight Palestinian content, silence its voice, and consider it incitement, according to leaked internal documents and correspondence published by the Wall Street Journal at the end of October.