7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media participated in the annual #SocialMediaDay on June 30th 2020. This year, 7amleh highlighted how the policies and practices of social media companies continue to violate Palestinian digital rights -- an extension of human rights in the online sphere. The event was initially created in 2010 by the United States company Mashable “As a way to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication”.
In particular, 7amleh focused on how YouTube’s policies and practices violate Palestinians right to freedom of expression and discriminate against Palestinian content, as shown in 7amleh’s research “Are YouTube’s Policies Biased Against Palestinians?” As an interviewee stated, "When they delete your video, they delete your story, narrative, and voice [...] they exclude your particular story from the mainstream news and policies”.
Palestinian digital rights are also being violated on social media networks by Israel, who has unlawfully established a censorship unit, the Israeli Cyber Unit, to censor political speech about Palestine and Palestinian rights. This resulted in the removal of 27,000 posts removed from Facebook, Twitter and Google between 2017-2018. Additionally, Israel is systematically working to spread disinformation and expand definitions of “hate speech” and “terrorism” to delegitimize Palestinian political speech and support for Palestinian rights online, as outlined in 7amleh’s position paper “Systematic Efforts to Silence Palestinian Content on Social Media”.
This #SocialMediaDay campaign garnered more than 4,600 impressions on Twitter, 1,100 on Instagram and reached almost 1,000 people on Instagram.
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