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Facebook apologises for disabling Palestinian journalists’ accounts

An anti-Facebook campaign was launched after the social networking giant deleted the accounts of Palestinian journalists and several publications last weekend.

By: IANS | Jerusalem | Updated: September 26, 2016 2:59:57 pm
Facebook, facebook deletes Palestinian journalist account, Facebook deletes journalist accounts, anti Facebook campaign, Facebook trending topics, Facebook news, technology, technology news Facebook has apologised for disabling accounts of several Palestinian journalists and activists. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Facebook has apologised for disabling accounts of several Palestinian journalists and activists, saying “the pages were removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate”.

An anti-Facebook campaign was launched after the social networking giant deleted the accounts of Palestinian journalists and several publications last weekend, TRTWorld reported on Monday.

“Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong. We’re very sorry about this mistake,” a Facebook spokesperson told Al Arabiya English.

The Facebook action sparked anger among Palestinian activists and bloggers who began an online campaign, urging the users not to post anything on Facebook.

“We demand the Facebook administration to further clarify the mechanisms implementing agreements between Facebook administration and States, including this agreement and to announce the conditions allowing Facebook administration to violate personal freedoms of internet users, and to enter into agreements with regimes and authorities to restrict these freedoms,” the statement from the online campaign read.

According to the campaign organisers, the Facebook move was linked to a pact wherein Facebook bowed under pressure by the Israeli government to rein in content that, Israel feels, incites violence. The users were also asked to protest on the micro-blogging site twitter under the hashtag #fbCensorsPalestine.

Facebook’s Trending section recently came to spotlight earlier this year after a report on Gizmodo claimed the service was suppressing conservative views. Following reports, Facebook made changes to Trending Topics, making it more driven by an algorithm, rather than human editors. The social media giant reportedly fired close to 18 editors who worked for Facebook’s Trending section.

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