Cover Image: It's not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices

Meta must act: stop the systematic censorship of Palestinian voices

Meta’s continuous censorship of Palestine-related content in times of war is a systematic issue that the tech giant must immediately address. Access Now’s new report, It’s not a glitch: how Meta systematically censors Palestinian voices, delves into how the company silences the voices of Palestinians and those advocating for their rights on Facebook and Instagram. 

Meta’s censorship of Palestinian voices is a feature, not a bug. Despite the mounting evidence of the disproportionate impacts of its content moderation systems over the years, Meta has failed to address its censorship. Marwa Fatafta, MENA Policy and Advocacy Director at Access Now.

Since October 2023, when Israeli forces began bombarding Gaza in response to the October 7 Hamas attack, Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices have been censored and suppressed on Facebook and Instagram. Access Now’s new report illustrates how content removal, arbitrary account suspensions, and discriminatory enforcement of content moderation policies against Palestinian voices have been the norm through examples and documentation of:

In 2022, a human rights due diligence commissioned by Meta into its content moderation actions in Israel and Palestine has outlined some of these issues. Yet, Meta has so far failed to address and further mitigate the negative impact of its policies and actions on marginalized and oppressed groups.

 In light of the recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the “plausible genocide” in Gaza, we call again on Meta to #StopSilencing Palestine and to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law. To do so, we urge Meta to develop rights-respecting crisis protocols, especially during times of war, to mitigate the negative impact of content moderation on fundamental rights and freedoms.