Digital Rights Weekly Update 15 - 21 March


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New Position Paper Highlights Impacts of X Platform's Content Moderation Policies on Palestinian Digital Rights (English)


7amleh – The Arab Center for Advancement of Social Media, published a position paper titled The Impact of X Platform’s Content Moderation Policies on Palestinian Digital Rights. This paper offers a comprehensive overview of the platform's role in shaping online discourse and its implications for Palestinian digital rights. The paper is authored by 7amleh’s advocacy manager, Jalal Abukhater. It delves deep into the nuances of X's content moderation framework following the takeover by Elon Musk. It explores the platform's approach to addressing issues such as hate speech, incitement to violence, and disinformation, while also examining its impact on user safety and freedom of expression.





How Israel Uses Fake Social Media Accounts to Promote Allegations against UNRWA – Report (English)

Palestine Chronicle

Social media researchers have found an Israeli influence operation that used fake accounts on a number of platforms to spread Israeli allegations against UNRWA, the newspaper Haaretz reported. According to Haaretz, the campaign was aimed at “amplifying claims and reports regarding the involvement of UNRWA workers” in the October 7 operation carried out by the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas in southern Israel. The Israeli disinformation watchdog group Fake Reporter reportedly found that three ‘news sites’ had been “created especially for the operation”.





TikTok: Why people think the US bill to ban app is linked to pro-Palestine content (English)

Middle East Monitor

After a bill in the US Congress was overwhelmingly passed to ban the social media app TikTok, social media users expressed outrage online and linked the move to pro-Israel groups trying to curb the surge of pro-Palestinian content on the platform. The bill, which passed in the House by a 352-65 vote, requires that TikTok be sold to an American company or face a ban in the US. To become law, it still needs to be passed by the Senate, which the Biden administration has been pushing to happen quickly. The legislation was the culmination of a year-long effort and has been largely attributed to lawmakers with hawkish views on China. TikTok was created by ByteDance, a company founded by Chinese entrepreneurs. While the app is owned by TikTok LLC, a company headquartered in the US, TikTok's ownership falls under ByteDance.





The Meta-Israel nexus: Silencing Palestinian voices in the digital landscape (English)


Meta is complicit in the oppression, and now plausible genocide, of the Palestinian people. Even casual observers have likely noticed how, since the commencement of the latest war on Gaza, Meta has actively silenced and censored Palestinian voices and narratives. Social media users have witnessed prominent accounts being taken down simply for sharing information about the horrendous situation in Gaza. The Wall Street Journal reported on leaked internal documents outlining Meta’s policies to suppress Palestinian speech, while The Guardian highlighted how AI-driven dehumanisation on Meta’s platforms has fuelled anti-Palestinian racism.



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