Meta Censors #Gaza Content
Date: 
October 17 2023

Mainstream media coverage of the ongoing war in Palestine has presented overwhelmingly biased narratives of the sequence of events unfolding since the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. Western media outlets run headlines describing this operation as “unprovoked” and labeling its organizers as “terrorists,” thereby avoiding all historical and political context for current events.

This discrepancy in media coverage is intentional, as the Occupation strategically targets telecommunications lines out of Gaza, eliminating the potential for a perspective besides the dominant Zionist hegemonic discourse.

Outside of Gaza, Western monopolization of social media platforms and media outlets has led to the successful censorship of Palestinian journalists and those supportive of the Palestinian cause.

Palestinian journalists and activists in Gaza sharing footage of the ongoing war in Gaza face pushback from media companies, says MEMO correspondent Mohammed Asad, who recently had his Instagram account suspended: “On TikTok, any video that relates to the bombing of houses, injury or death of civilians [is] being deleted.” Account owners have been sent warnings of terms of service violations.

Instagram and Facebook, both owned by Meta, have also censored large accounts posting media from Gaza. Among the affected is Palestinian journalist Motas Azaiza, who had his Instagram account disabled. 

Mondoweiss—one of the most prominent pro-Palestine newspapers—is also among the affected, with the temporary removal of their TikTok account and the suspension of their correspondent in Gaza this past week.

Even those who have managed to avoid account suspension cannot escape the censorship, however. Many posting about the ongoing attacks on Palestine have experienced ‘shadowbanning’, or the suppression of their content by social media algorithms. To counteract this, popular pro-Palestine accounts have been posting selfies, hoping to use  Instagram’s facial recognition software in their favor (the app prioritizes faces in boosting the reach of content). 

Other forms of censorship include content warnings, which have been accompanying Instagram reels depicting Israel’s bombings. These warnings have the effect of suppressing media coming out of Palestine because they require users to take an extra step labeled “see anyway” in order to view content.

This censorship comes on the heels of the targeted assassination of Gazan journalists in clear attempts to limit reporters moving in and out of Gaza. The limitation of circulated footage severely limits media coverage and bolsters Israeli misinformation and propaganda, including proven false reports of beheaded Israeli babies and assaulted Israeli women.

By silencing Palestinian journalists and activists in Gaza, one singular narrative is promoted out of Palestine—that of the overwhelmingly powerful occupier, while the reality of the occupied remains suppressed. The adoption of Zionist messaging in news reporting with no rebuttal or counternarrative from the affected population aids in the dehumanization of Palestinians. The refusal to show the reality of Palestinian people has a long history in the Western world, and is just one of many tactics used to support and enable the ongoing Occupation.

About The Author: 

Anna Rajagopal is a writer. 


The views in all articles in this blog and site belong to their authors. 
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