Activists and Arab influencers launch a targeted campaign on social media platforms addressing the systematic banning and execution of the Arab safe, peaceful content.
The campaign started from Jerusalem, considering the symbolism of the city, and in the shadow of the recent blocking of Arab content sympathetic to Palestine from millions of accounts and publications that presented or transmitted the Palestinian narrative, especially on Facebook and Instagram, the two platforms that have wide fame in the Arab world.
The campaign aims at establishing urgent solutions for Facebook to not practice the bias of its software against safe Arab content that advocates freedom and human values, by involving Arab influencers and experts in developing policies and automated systems determining the safety and security of the content. The “Facebook Executing Us” campaign is in the rush to gain 1 million digital signatures on its page to add a public agreement to the campaign’s message to Facebook.
“This is a spontaneous, non-politicized or funded campaign, and it comes in response to the violation of freedom of expression by both the Arab influencers and the simple digital citizen at the hands of unjust digital executions on social media platforms recently,” Mahmoud Al-Sharif, director of the “Facebook Execute Us” campaign and one of its founders.
And added, “The campaign is administrated by volunteers from 12 countries, whose only concern is to defend the right of content that expresses their legitimate, peaceful hopes for a digital life.” Facebook stated that, in conjunction with the recent attacks on Palestine, it has restricted access to the hashtag #Al-Aqsa in multiple ways.
Facebook also sent a warning sign along with the restriction saying that (Al-Aqsa) falls under the “violent or dangerous organization” category. Facebook’s systems also classified many images of Palestinian protests as “harassment or bullying” in the company’s internal ratings. In the meantime, Facebook is engulfed in an internal debate among its employees about the bias of their organization, the largest in the world of social networks, against Arabs and Muslims.
Last week, nearly 200 Facebook employees signed an internal petition calling for their company to conduct an investigation into the content censorship regimes that have fueled so many complaints of the digital execution of Palestinian voices and their sympathizers.
Worth mentioning, thousands of messages were received by the “Facebook Executing Us” campaign, many of them documenting complaints of digital executions against Arab account holders in the events that accompanied the forced eviction of residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem. The messages also were documenting the military operations that affected the lives of civilians in Gaza, not ignoring the fact that most of them were children. Hundreds complained that their accounts and publications continued to be subjected to digital execution, even after the field calm occurred, and until today.