7amleh – the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media welcomed Facebook’s latest and surprising decision, yesterday Thursday, October 14, to implement the recommendations of the Facebook Oversight Board and conduct an independent examination of the moderation policies of Arabic and Hebrew content and considers this an important step in the right direction. This decision comes following repeated requests by 7amleh and a large number of local, regional, and international human rights organizations, coalitions and networks, that Facebook guarantees a transparent and equitable policy with regards to Palestinian content.
The May Uprising, earlier this year, kickstarted an increase in the pressure against Facebook to end its discriminatory policy against Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian rights, as various acts of systematic censorship of Palestinians and defenders of Palestinian rights continued to be monitored over the years, in response to continued digital violations from the Israeli government and other parties.
7amleh emphasized the importance of appointing independent professionals with a background in human rights in general and digital rights in particular and called on Facebook to commit to implementing the recommendations of the examination.
The center considers the decisions and recommendations of the Oversight Board as positive and serious steps in the right direction, which will contribute to ensuring that Facebook moderates content in a safe, fair and equitable manner. We hope that Facebook seriously considers these recommendations and implements them immediately.
7amleh also calls on Facebook to accept and commit to the remaining recommendations of the Oversight Board, including specifying the criteria for “dangerous individuals and organizations” or parties whose content is automatically removed from the platform, as well as disclosing all cooperation with governments and positive responses to governmental requests of content removal, in addition to translating content moderation policies to all languages and making them more accessible.