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    👍|Netanyahu’s son suspended by Facebook, Twitter …

    Facebook removed a social media post by the son of Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu which detailed the address of a right-wing lawmaker on Thursday, before three of his social media accounts were temporarily suspended. Yair Netanyahu shared a poster on Instagram encouraging supporters of his embattled father to protest outside the home of Yamina MK Nir Orbach, in a bid to pressure the latter not to join a coalition deal aimed at ending his father’s 12-year grip on Israeli politics. Both Facebook and Instagram blocked Netanyahu’s account for 24 hours. Yair took to Twitter to blame “left-wing te…

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    👍|Iran presidential hopefuls demand end to Twitte…

    Iranian presidential candidates have jumped on the issue of social media restrictions, in an effort to win voters over, with traditionally conservative candidate also shifting position. Conservative candidates on the campaign trail have expressed their opposition to the online blocks, with Saeed Jalili describing the filtering of Twitter as “unjustified”. Globally popular social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter have been blocked or filtered in Iran since 2009. With Iranians set to go to the polls on 18 June, hopeful candidates have been attempting to build support, but in light …

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    👍|Facebook bans former US president Trump for 2 y…

    Facebook on Friday set its ban on former US president Donald Trump for two years, saying he deserved the maximum punishment for violating platform rules over a deadly attack by his supporters on the US Capitol. The two-year ban will be effective from January 7, when Trump was booted off the platform, and comes after Facebook’s independent oversight board said the indefinite ban should be reviewed. “Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new …

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    👍|Facebook workers’ letter ‘seeks movement on Pal…

    An open letter signed by almost 200 Facebook workers asks the platform for change on Palestine. The message calls for policies to be brought in to stop pro-Palestine posts being unjustly deleted or downranked, the Financial Times, which has viewed the letter, said on Tuesday. During the Israeli bombing campaign against Gaza last month, employees and others argued such enforcement had occurred. Many activists said they faced censorship from Facebook and other social media organisations. In late May, at least 30 company employees filed an internal appeal seeking the restoration of content on Fac…

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    👍|Facebook employees accuse company of bias again…

    A group of at least 30 Facebook employees has accused the social media giant of bias against Palestinians, amid soaring allegations of censorship of Arabic content during Israel’s recent assault on Gaza. The workers filed an internal appeal to restore content on Facebook and Instagram, which they believe was improperly blocked or removed. The group of software engineers put the company’s algorithm to the test and found it skewed in favour of Israel, Buzzfeed reported. As an experiment, an Egyptian employee posted content from Gaza Now, a verified news outlet with nearly 4 million followers, to…

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    👍|Activists give Facebook one-star reviews over P…

    Activists are using Facebook’s rating system to leave one-star reviews in an organised campaign protesting the social media giant’s alleged censorship of Palestinian accounts and posts in solidarity with the suffering of people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Users are sharing the campaign across social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and are urging people to leave one-star reviews in the Apple and Google App stores. Last week the average star rating for the social network was 4 out of 5. This week it is 2.4 out of 5 on Google Play store, and 2.3 out of 5 on Apple’…

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    👍|Facebook rating falls as users slam suppression…

    Facebook is facing a flurry of negative comments and ratings in response to its alleged suppression and censorship of supportive messages for the Palestinian people. The social networking giant has been accused by Palestine activists of blocking content that is supportive of Palestinian rights, as well as content that is critical of the Israeli occupation. Some have even gone as far as accusing the US company of colluding with Israel. At the time of writing, Facebook’s rating on the Apple App Store is 2.1, while it fairs only slightly better on Google’s Play Store with 2.4, both out of a possi…

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    📱|Jewish Google employees call for Palestine supp…

    Jewish employees at Google are calling for the tech giant to show greater support for Palestinians and free speech, amid concerns about the erasure of Palestinian voices. Jewish Diaspora in Tech has circulated a letter it says includes signatures from 250 Jewish Google employees objecting to the conflation of Israel and the Jewish people and insisting that “Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism”. It lists a set of demands to Google’s management about its handling of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and assaults on Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank by Israeli police and far-right mobs. The let…

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    👍|West Ham United delete tweet of support for Pal…

    English Premier League football team West Ham United has deleted a message of support for Palestinians on Twitter, which was posted on the club’s official Arabic-language account after days of Israeli bombing in Gaza. The West Ham Arabic Twitter account posted the tweet on Tuesday but was reportedly removed within 24-hours after pressure from club officials. “Oh God, grant them victory over the oppressive people. Palestine was and will remain a land and home for the Palestinians alone,” the tweet read. “Nasrallah is coming, even after a while, the Hammers are behind you,” it added, referencing…

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    👍|Facebook to live stream Eid moonsightings from …

    Facebook on Wednesday is set to live stream moonsighting events from across the UK to determine the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The social media giant will share the live footage with some 215 million users on its Facebook app shortly after the end of the day’s fast on Wednesday evening. The stream, which will be the first of its kind to be shared by the platform, will be brought to viewers in partnership with the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Exeter University and the New Crescent Society (NCS), a UK-based group dedicated to reviving the Islamic tradition of celestial observation….

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    👍|Instagram says ‘technical issue’ caused removal…

    Instagram has addressed accusations that it had censored thousands of posts about the forced expulsions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, calling it a “technical issue”. Activists and hundreds of social media users on Thursday accused the social media giant of censoring posts after videos, Instagram stories and Instagram highlights relating to events in Sheikh Jarrah disappeared from the app. The New Arab reached out to Instagram about the issue. “I want to confirm that content related to Sheikh Jarrah was removed as a result of a widespread global t…

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    👍|Facebook removes Palestinian pro-Fatah account …

    Facebook removed nine account networks in April that it said were behind the spread of false information and manipulation of users online, including some 450 accounts from the Palestinian territories. The deleted accounts on both Facebook and Instagram totalled 1,800, according to Bloomberg. The social media giant said the Palestinian network had been targeting users in the Middle East with content promoting the Palestinian political movement Fatah and criticising Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Accounts can be taken down on Facebook and companies owned by it if they violate any of the platform’s c…

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    👍|Facebook board upholds Trump suspension

    Former US President Donald Trump won’t return to Facebook — at least not yet. The social network’s quasi-independent Oversight Board voted to uphold his ban from the platform after his account was suspended four months ago for inciting violence that led to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. But in a statement, it faulted Facebook for the way it made the decision and called its “indefinite” suspension of Trump unreasonable and unworkable. The board said Facebook sought to avoid its responsibilities by applying “a vague, standardless penalty” and then referring the case to the board to resolve. “In…

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    📱|Google and Microsoft’s secretive investments in…

    Earlier this month, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the tech giant Microsoft had secretly launched a new chip development centre in Israel over a year and a half earlier, and is currently accelerating its operations there. This was followed by another report that Google is planning to establish a regional data center in Israel for its cloud computing services that could see hundreds of millions of dollars invested in local infrastructure. Google refused to comment on the news, leaving it shrouded in secrecy, like Microsoft’s Israeli ventures. While such investments may seem benign or a…

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    👍|Facebook says Palestinian intelligence used pla…

    Facebook said Wednesday it had disabled accounts used by the Palestinian Authority’s internal intelligence organisation to spy on journalists, human rights activists and political opponents. In a report, the US social media giant also said it had identified and disabled “politically motivated” espionage operations by a group believed to be based in Gaza and affiliated with Hamas, the Islamist rulers of the Palestinian enclave. The report released Wednesday comes ahead of landmark Palestinian legislative elections set for next month that will see the rival West Bank-based Palestinian Authority …

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    👍|Jailing of Saudi activist linked to ‘Twitter in…

    The sentencing of a Saudi human rights activist and aid worker to 20 years in prison has been linked to state-sponsored Twitter agents in 2014, the Guardian reported on Saturday. Activist and Red Crescent local aid worker Abdul Rahman Al-Sadhan on Tuesday was sentenced to 20 years in prison and given a 20 years travel ban for allegedly running an anonymous social media account. Prior to his sentencing, he was detained for 1,120 days with hearings held in secret prior to his conviction on Monday. His sister accused Saudi authorities of torturing the activist during his detention. Al-Sadhan’s co…

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    👍|Civil rights group sues Facebook, Mark Zuckerbe…

    An advocacy group for Muslim Americans has sued Facebook and top executives, including Mark Zuckerberg for failing to police hate speech, following what it regards as “pervasive” anti-Muslim attacks. In the complaint filed in Washington on Thursday, Muslim Advocates claimed the social media giant’s repeated failures to enforce its own moderation policies have led to a wave of anti-Muslim abuse. “For years, we have warned Facebook about the barrage of anti-Muslim hate and violent threats that proliferate on their platform – and violate the company’s own policies,” Mary Bauer, legal director of …

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    👍|Facebook removes accounts tied to Iranian exile…

    Facebook said Tuesday it has removed hundreds of fake accounts linked to an Iranian exile group and a troll farm in Albania. The accounts posted content critical of Iran’s government and supportive of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, a dissident group known as MEK. In many cases, the Facebook and Instagram accounts used fake profile names and photos. Facebook determined the accounts were being run from a single location in Albania by a group of individuals working on behalf of MEK. Facebook found other telltale clues suggesting a so-called troll farm, in which workers are paid to post content, often misinf…

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    👍|Facebook says cyber spies in China targeted Uyg…

    Facebook on Wednesday said it disrupted efforts by hackers in China to spy on supporters of the Uyghur minority living outside that country. A group of well-resourced hackers in China targeted hundreds of Uyghur activists, journalists, and dissidents living abroad, trying to trick them into clicking on website links booby-trapped with malicious code, according to the social network. “This group used various cyber espionage tactics to identify its targets and infect their devices with malware to enable surveillance,” Facebook head of cyber espionage investigations Mike Dvilyanski and security p…

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    👍|Trump to launch own social media platform: ex-aide

    Donald Trump plans to return to social media soon, using “his own platform” after being banned from Twitter and other outlets, a former advisor said Sunday. “I do think that we’re going to see president Trump returning to social media in probably about two or three months,” Jason Miller told Fox News. “It’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly president Trump does, but it will be his own platform,” said Miller, who held senior posts in both of Trump’s presidential campaigns. Trump’s provocative use of social media was a de…

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    👍|Twitter to appoint Turkey representative: official

    Twitter will appoint a local representative in Turkey under a contentious social media law that allows authorities to remove content from platforms, a government official said on Friday. Turkey’s new social media regulations entered into force in October after being passed in parliament by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party. They require platforms with more than one million unique daily users to appoint representatives who can handle court orders to take down offending content within 48 hours. Non-compliance could lead to fines or restrictions on bandwidth, blocking access to the pl…

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    👍|Twitter asks users to weigh in on rules for wor…

    Twitter on Friday began a survey of global users about platform rules for world leaders while consulting human rights and academic specialists on its next policy steps. The announcement comes after Twitter joined other social networks banning then-president Donald Trump for his comments seen as inciting the violent attack on the US Capitol in January. The ban was criticized by Trump supporters while others had argued Twitter should have taken action earlier despite its policy of allowing leeway for world leaders and newsworthy posts. “Politicians and government officials are constantly evolvin…

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    👍|Russia disrupting Twitter over ‘illegal’ content

    Russia said Wednesday it planned to slow down Twitter for users in the country over what it said was the social media platform’s failure to remove “illegal” content. Moscow in recent months has put Western tech giants like Facebook and Twitter under increasing pressure for failing to take down calls to participate inanti-government demonstrations. Russia’s media watchdog said in a statement its decision to restrict Twitter’s services was intended to “protect Russian citizens” and force the company to comply with Russian law. The Roskomandzor watchdog said the disruption would begin on Wednesda…

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    👍|Twitter and India play tug-of-war with democracy

    Amid protests in India against three agricultural reform acts passed last September, the government – led by the ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (or BJP) – has cracked down on dissenting voices online, demanding that social media platforms remove posts criticising the government’s conduct. Twitter at first made a laudable effort to stand up to the government, but later backed down, complying with requests in a move that indicates the company’s willingness to put profit before people. Twitter’s move is extremely disappointing, but – for those who know the company’s history – is simply …

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    👍|Criticism of Zionism is not anti-semitic, Faceb…

    Facebook is facing a dilemma. The social media Goliath finds itself caught in a debate over the use of the political label “Zionist”. Supporters of Israel are pressing Facebook to treat the term “Zionist” as a proxy for “Jew”, and to therefore label harsh criticisms of Zionism – a political ideology that must surely be open to criticism in any free society – as anti-semitism, a hateful ideology that has no place in civil discourse. Facebook commonly defends its platform on the basis of free speech in an attempt to avoid having to do the often complicated, controversial, and difficult work of m…

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    👍|After Facebook, Twitter ban, Trump fans and ext…

    Gab instead of Twitter, MeWe over Facebook, Telegram for messaging and Discord for insiders – banned from mainstream platforms, US conspiracy and supremacist movements, many of which support Donald Trump, have shifted to networks that are more confidential, and harder to regulate. “The most extreme Trump supporters were already on alternative platforms,” said Nick Backovic, a researcher at Logically.AI, a company specializing in digital disinformation. “The fact that Facebook and Twitter took so long to (ban them) allowed influencers to rebuild conversation and groups almost seamlessly.” After…

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    👍|Facebook shuts down Myanmar army ‘True News’ page

    A Facebook page run by the Myanmar junta’s “True News” information service was kicked off the platform on Sunday after the tech giant accused it of inciting violence. Security forces in the country have steadily increased violence against a massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding the return of deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The Nobel laureate was taken into custody along with her top political allies at the start of the month, but the new regime has insisted it took power lawfully. It has used Facebook to claim Suu Kyi’s landslide election victory last Nov…

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    👍|Taliban tweet threatens Malala, Twitter removes…

    A Pakistani Taliban militant who nine years ago is alleged to have shot and badly wounded Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has threatened a second attempt on her life, tweeting that next time, “there would be no mistake.” Twitter on Wednesday permanently suspend the account with the menacing post. The threat prompted Yousafzai to tweet herself, asking both the Pakistan military and Prime Minister Imran Khan to explain how her alleged shooter, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had escaped from government custody. Ehsan was arrested in 2017, but escaped in January 2020 from a so-called safe house where he was be…

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    👍|Myanmar restricts Twitter as outrage over coup …

    Myanmar lost access to Twitter on Friday night, the latest move to stifle dissent as the military widened an internet ban days after a coup that has drawn global condemnation and the threat of new sanctions. De facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained Monday and ousted from power, returning the country to military rule after a 10-year dalliance with democracy. Facebook was the first platform that saw issues on Wednesday, and by Thursday, Myanmar users had flocked to Twitter to spread a hashtag campaign against the military putsch with millions of mentions. But around 10 pm local time (1530 G…

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    👍|Myanmar blocks Facebook as resistance grows to …

    Myanmar’s new military government has blocked access to Facebook as resistance to Monday’s coup surged amid calls for civil disobedience to protest the ousting of the elected civilian government and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Facebook is especially popular in Myanmar and the ousted government had commonly made public announcements on the social media site. Internet users said the disruption began late Wednesday night, and mobile service provider Telenor Myanmar confirmed in a statement that mobile operators and internet service providers in Myanmar had received a directive from the communica…

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    👍|In a first, Twitter restricts ‘hateful’ LGBTQ p…

    Twitter on Tuesday labeled as “hateful” a post by Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu that described members of the LBGTQ community as “deviants”. It is the first time the social media giant has restricted a post by a Turkish official. The move comes against the background of ongoing protests at an Istanbul university over the appointment of a rector by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Four Bogazici University students were detained last week over a piece of protest art that superimposed LGBTQ community flags over an image of Islam’s holiest site, the Great Mosque of Mecca and the Kaaba at…

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    👍|Twitter blocks US Chinese embassy account over …

    Twitter has locked the official Twitter account of the Chinese Embassy in the US following a tweet that defended Beijing’s discriminatory practises against its Uighur Muslim population in Xinjiang. Critics of the regime, as well as reported first-hand accounts by doctors who have worked in Xinjiang have spoken of China engaging in the forced sterilisation of Uighur women, among other atrocities. The tweet in question said Uighur women were no longer “baby-making machines”, according to Bloomberg. It had originally been shared on 7 January and was removed by Twitter 24 hours later with a label …

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    👍|Turkey hits Twitter, Pinterest with advertising…

    Turkey on Tuesday hit Twitter, Pinterest and Periscope with advertising bans after they failed to follow Facebook and appoint a local representative to take down contentious posts under a new media law. Freedom of speech defenders warn the law is part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempt to control social media and stop any dissent against his government. The social media legislation passed last year meant networks with over a million users had to appoint an envoy to handle court orders to remove offending content within 48 hours. The bans on the three platforms came into force …

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    👍|Facebook to appoint Turkey envoy to comply with…

    Facebook said on Monday it will appoint a representative in Turkey to comply with a new social media law aimed at forcing platforms to quickly remove contentious posts. The US social media giant’s announcement came a day before it and other non-complying platforms were due to face advertising bans in Turkey. Media freedom advocates view the law as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s effort to limit political discourse and stifle dissent — a drive that gained added momentum after he survived a failed coup in 2016. But Facebook said its decision did not mean it was changing the way it hand…