'Palestinian censorship' sees London law firm file complaint to Facebook

'Palestinian censorship' sees London law firm file complaint to Facebook
Bindmans LLP, a London-based law firm, filed a formal complaint to Facebook over its 'censorship of Palestinian voices'.
2 min read
23 February, 2022
A complaint was filed by a London-based law firm [Getty]

A prominent London-based law firm sent a formal complaint to Facebook over its suspension of Palestinian media workers and platforms.

Bindmans LLP on Monday issued the objection on behalf of Palestinian digital rights group Sada Social, saying that Palestinian media workers have had their Facebook accounts suspended and pro-Palestine posts are censored on the platform.

The firm said Facebook's Community Standards policy is "practiced unjustifiably", it added.

This has coincided with the Israeli Knesset’s "preliminary approval" on 8 December of a law "that would allow Israeli authorities to remove content not just from Facebook, but also from all other social media outlets, extending to removing content from any website at all", the legal group said.

This law, Bindmans urged, is being used by the Israeli government to censor social media posts based on political aims, as opposed to tackling legitimate security threats.

The firm added that the bill also gives unprecedented empowers to internet providers to block access to websites in Israel if the content contradicts mainstream political views.

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"The complaint reinstates the request that Meta/Facebook discloses and reviews its decision-making process, and explains why the accounts were closed, suspended or posts taken down, and whether in doing so an algorithm or human discretion was used," Bindmans said.

Bindmans also sent the complaint to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression.

Late last year, Sada Social said a record number of 600 Palestinian accounts or pro-Palestinian Facebook posts were restricted or deleted in 2021. The centre helped launch a social media campaign called "Facebook Censors Jerusalem".

They said anti-Palestinian censorship heightened in the spring and summer of 2021 when Israeli air strikes and artillery fire on Gaza killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded over 1,900 people in 11 days of conflict from 10 May.

Social media remains an important tool for Palestinians to voice their opinions and highlight their daily struggles under Israeli occupation.

Many Palestinians believe traditional media coverage does not sufficiently capture the reality of the crisis.