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Hate speech and incitement against Palestinians escalated on social media in January, says group

Posted On: 08-02-2023 | National News , Human Rights
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January 2023 witnessed an escalation of incitement against the Palestinians on official pages and accounts affiliated with the Israeli occupation government and its military in the occupied West Bank, today said the Palestinian social media watch group Sada Social Center.

These incitements included threats and incitement to expel the Palestinians, demolish their homes, kill them, punish them, and abuse them.

The incitements also included attacks by thousands of accounts against Palestinian activists' and influencers' accounts on social media and campaigns to report against pages and accounts providing Palestinian content.

Sada Social Center said it documented in January 2023 increasing hate speech and incitement against the Palestinians issued by Israeli settlers and leaders, the most prominent of which was the incitement to kill Palestinians during a deadly raid by Israeli troops in Jenin on January 26.

Hate speech and incitement in the first month of 2023 also targeted Palestinian female activists more, as the Israeli deputy mayor of Jerusalem incited against Jerusalemite activist Alaa al-Sous on Twitter, and settlers incited against the activist Hind al-Khudari on Twitter too. Palestinian-American supermodel Bella Hadid received incitement over her denunciation of the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

The center called upon all those who are proficient in the Hebrew language to report any content that includes hatred and incitement against the Palestinians on Israeli accounts, so that it can communicate with the platforms' administrations to remove it.

As for digital violations of Palestinian content, Sada Social Center documented more than 95 digital violations on various social media platforms, where Palestinian accounts received a number of reports as violations of content policies. These violations caused restrictions on posting and access when publishing news related to Palestine and the deletion of dozens of accounts.

Despite the recommendations and outputs of reports that reveal Meta’s bias against Arabic content and its promise to stop its discriminatory policies, complaints about Meta’s targeting of Palestinian content are still at the forefront, with 79 violations, including 65 violations on Facebook, 13 on Instagram and one on WhatsApp.

Sada Social also documented nine digital violations on Twitter and four violations on TikTok. As for YouTube, it deleted a channel last month for publishing Palestinian content.

Social media platforms continue to censor the Palestinian media by restricting and deleting journalists' accounts for posting news related to the Palestinian cause, as the Center monitored 61 of the total violations against the accounts of journalists and news institutions, which represent more than 64% of all violations.

Sada Social Center said it is still working to restore many accounts that are subject to harassment and ban. It re-confirmed the need to report any violation of freedom of posting and restriction of the use of Internet space in Palestine. The Center also confirmed the importance of documenting these violations based on the importance of being on digital platforms and conveying the Palestinian narrative like the rest of those around the world and respect for the freedom of expression and publication as a universal right guaranteed by all international conventions.

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