Skyline calls on Facebook to review its restrictive policy against Palestinian content
STOCKHOLM – Skyline is seriously concerned at the escalating violations of freedom of opinion and expression on social media. It stresses that Facebook's continued policy of restriction and prosecution must end immediately.
Saturday, Skyline states that it is thoroughly concerned over the shocking numbers of violations that are documented on a monthly basis on social networking sites, especially “Facebook” and “Instagram”. Hence, its calls on these sites to respect the relevant international conventions and human rights rules for companies that guarantee freedom of publishing and sharing without restrictions.
Skyline reveals that the total number of violations that were monitored during 2021 to this day amounted to about 1,000 violations against Palestinian content on social media platforms, stressing that this rate of violations is the highest in years.
Moreover, Skyline indicates Facebook recently closed the "Maydan Alquds" and "Al-Qastal" pages, which are concerned with issues related to Jerusalem and are followed by millions. Facebook has not presented any legal reason for this ban. In this regard, Skyline stresses that these practices unacceptably violate the right to freedom of opinion, expression and publication guaranteed by the international conventions.
Skyline highlights that the growing violations against Palestinian content took place simultaneously with the beginning of the popular and electronic movement launched by Palestinian activists, which expanded to reach most countries of the world on the Israeli violations against the Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Jerusalem's event and the Israeli aggression on Gaza in May/ 2021. The human rights foundation "Skyline" emphasizes that the Israeli authorities - at the same time - submitted dozens of requests to social media sites to restrict Palestinian content.
In turn, Skyline states that "Facebook" has blocked hundreds of accounts completely, suspended some features, closed many accounts or pages, and restricted publications' reach to the public.
Furthermore, Skyline calls on the "Integrity and Oversight Committees" of those sites to seriously consider the numerous complaints they received on a daily basis by thousands of individuals whose accounts are restricted.
Skyline concludes its statement by emphasizing that Meta, the owner of Facebook, is required to respect the rules of international law and legal principles that guarantee freedom of opinion and expression and reject any practice that would prejudice those rights or restrict individuals in. It further stresses that that any infringement of these rights constitutes a violation that requires accountability.