Digital Rights Weekly Update 22 - 28 March


Check out the full report


Civil Society Organizations Call on Senators to Stand Against TikTok Ban (English)


We, the undersigned civil society organizations, are deeply concerned with the recent congressional efforts to ban TikTok in the United States. The wholesale banning of one of the most prominent and widely used social media platforms in the world is an assault on First Amendment rights and an attack on freedom of expression against TikTok users of all beliefs and backgrounds. Furthermore, as far as this group is concerned, TikTok does not present a unique or distinct threat that is not also present in other major platforms such as X (formerly Twitter) or Meta’s multiple platforms. This leads us to believe that this is primarily a political act, which serves to increase tension with China, rather than one rooted in the best interest and protection of the digital rights of U.S. citizens.





7amleh Releases its Annual Report for The Year 2023 (English)


7amleh - the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, issued its annual report summarizing its most prominent achievements and activities during the year 2023, in which it worked to expand advocacy efforts for Palestinian digital rights. The report highlighted the most prominent achievements of 7amleh during the past year. This includes 7or - the Palestinian Observatory of Digital Rights Violations’s recording of 4,400 digital rights violations in 2023. Additionally, it includes the emergency response to the war on Gaza, in which 7amleh responded to by documenting digital rights violations, calling for a ceasefire, raising awareness through emergency reports, interviews, and digital seminars, and launching the “Violence Indicator”, a linguistic model that relies on artificial intelligence to monitor the spread of hate speech and violence targeting Palestinians in Hebrew on social media. 7amleh has also published a new educational initiative entitled “Manassa”, a digital educational platform in the Arabic language, that serves as an interactive training space specialized in advocacy and digital media.




Oversight Board Publishes Policy Advisory Opinion on Referring to Designated Dangerous Individuals as “Shaheed” (English)

Oversight Board

The Board finds that Meta’s approach to moderating content that uses the term “shaheed” to refer to individuals designated as dangerous substantially restricts free expression. Meta interprets all uses of “shaheed” referring to individuals it has designated as “dangerous” as violating and removes the content. According to Meta, it is likely that “shaheed” accounts for more content removals under the Community Standards than any other single word or phrase on its platforms. Acts of terrorist violence have severe consequences – destroying the lives of innocent people, impeding human rights and undermining the fabric of our societies. However, any limitation on freedom of expression to prevent such violence must be necessary and proportionate, given that undue removal of content may be ineffective and even counterproductive.





The Intercept 

“failure to provide answers to important questions,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are pressing Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, to respond to reports of disproportionate censorship around the Israeli war on Gaza. “Meta insists that there’s been no discrimination against Palestinian-related content on their platforms, but at the same time, is refusing to provide us with any evidence or data to support that claim,” Warren told The Intercept. “If its ad-hoc changes and removal of millions of posts didn’t discriminate against Palestinian-related content, then what’s Meta hiding?”



Join our mailing list

Stay up to date with our latest activities, news, and publications