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Facebook Blocks Hamas-Affiliated News Website For Violating Community Guidelines

November 17th, 2021 12:52

An Israeli think-tank is report­ing that on 12  Octo­ber 2021, Face­book announced that it had per­ma­nent­ly blocked the Ara­bic-lan­guage Face­book page of the Hamas-affil­i­at­ed She­hab News Agency because it had repeat­ed­ly vio­lat­ed the rules of the Face­book com­mu­ni­ty regard­ing hate speech and the pro­mo­tion of vio­lence. Accord­ing to the arti­cle:

For the sec­ond time in recent months, Face­book announced it was block­ing the Hamas-affil­i­at­ed She­hab News Agency page, accus­ing it of vio­lat­ing Facebook’s com­mu­ni­ty stan­dards against pro­mot­ing vio­lence, despite hav­ing been noti­fied. She­hab then post­ed a notice claim­ing that this time Majed Faraj, the head of Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty (PA) Gen­er­al Intel­li­gence, had been involved in block­ing its site.

Read the rest here.

With near­ly 7.5 mil­lion fol­low­ers, She­hab News, first estab­lished in 2007, was among the largest Pales­tin­ian news pages in terms of fol­low­er count. In 2015, it saw its first removal from Face­book for fea­tur­ing “graph­ic vio­lence.” It is part of the Al-Aqsa Media Net­work, which runs TV and radio sta­tions and web news plat­forms, and is close­ly affil­i­at­ed with Hamas. Al-Aqsa Media reg­u­lar­ly fea­tures inter­views with Hamas offi­cials, some of whom have used these inter­views to call for a geno­cide against Jews.

A July 2021 Israeli news arti­cle report­ed that She­hab’s Face­book page and web­site had become inac­ces­si­ble but lat­er were back online. A new Ara­bic-lan­guage She­hab News account was cre­at­ed short­ly after the recent Face­book ban but has not achieved sig­nif­i­cant fol­low­er num­bers. It is unclear whether this site is main­tained by She­hab staff. An Eng­lish-lan­guage She­hab News page is cur­rent­ly still oper­a­tional.

Dur­ing and after the May 2021 vio­lent flare-up between Israel and vio­lent Pales­tin­ian groups, pro-Pales­tin­ian Face­book users world­wide were high­ly crit­i­cal of Face­book, claim­ing the com­pa­ny was help­ing Israel’s pub­lic dis­course by delet­ing hun­dreds of Pales­tin­ian posts and cen­sor­ing sites crit­i­cal of Israel.

The Hamas char­ter says that it is “one of the wings of the Mus­lim Broth­ers in Pales­tine,” and a Hamas jour­nal­ist has acknowl­edged the role that the “inter­na­tion­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood” has played in pro­vid­ing funds for the pur­chase of weapons. Hamas is known to be sup­port­ed finan­cial­ly and polit­i­cal­ly by the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.