With a series of humanitarian ceasefire proposals rejected by the United States veto in the Security Council, it is now virtually clear to everyone that the United Nations has no power to stop this war for the time being. Seeing the indiscriminate killing of innocent people, especially women and children, in Gaza for more than two months, the question naturally arises, but is there no such thing as world humanity? By exercising veto power against the ceasefire proposal in the United Nations Security Council, the United States has virtually legitimized Israel’s genocide in Gaza!
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The question may arise for the reason of the people of Gaza, when the country’s most powerful person criticizes Israel’s indiscriminate killings, why is Israel’s killing being legitimized in the United Nations? The answer, of course, was given by Joe Biden himself. “This does not mean that the campaign against Hamas must stop, and Israel must have the right to defend itself.” The legitimacy of Israel’s right to self-defense has so far been victimized by some 20,000 innocent Palestinians, including what they call Hamas armed fighters.
UNITED NATIONS CALL
Despite the indiscriminate genocide carried out without caring for the international laws and rules of war, the whole world can’t take any action against Israel. Considering the overall situation, the UN Secretary General recently invoked Article 99 of his special powers under the UN Charter, in which he called on the Security Council to take effective steps to stop this war. That’s the power of the United Nations. The General Assembly had passed such a resolution before the last ceasefire resolution was passed on December 13, but the result was zero.
It will be the same this time. Specific articles of the UN Charter state that the Security Council shall decide its course to maintain international peace and security and shall require a unanimous decision of the permanent members of the Council. We have also seen what the role of the Security Council has been and is. The U.S. veto gives Israel all the legitimacy of the ongoing genocide, and on the contrary, Israel has repeatedly received recognition of its self-defense from the United States.
Instead of protecting Palestinians in Gaza, 36 UN human rights experts and other genocide scholars have approved metapaid ads that explicitly call for the “Holocaust for Palestinians” and the elimination of “Gaza’s women and children and elderly.” Thompson REUTERS reported that the United Nations on Tuesday demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip as U.S. President Joe Biden warned Israel it was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate” bombing of civilians in its war against Hamas militants.
After dire warnings by U.N. officials about a deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire with 153 countries voting in favor and 23 abstaining. The U.S. and Israel, which argue a ceasefire only benefits Hamas, voted against the measure along with eight other countries.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS SYSTEMATICALLY CENSORING PRO-PALESTINIAN CONTENT
The UN Secretary-General has privately expressed his disappointment, not only with all these negative acts of the Western Countries, but our dismay is also when we see that Social media platforms are systematically censoring proPalestinian content and allowing anti-Palestinian hate speech. The horrific violence against the people of Gaza is unprecedented. There is also a deep mute in online. Palestinians who speak out against Israel’s genocidal in Gaza have faced constant censorship and repression, accompanied by state-sponsored disinformation, hate speech, and calls for violence on social media.
After Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, Big Tech decided to remove its war content, claiming it had violated its rules. TikTok removed more than 925,000 videos from the Middle East between October 7 and 31. As of November 14, X, formerly known as Twitter, it had taken action on more than 350,00 posts. In the first three days of the attack, Meta deleted more than 795,000 posts or marked them as disturbing.
Driven by untrained algorithms and pressured by the European Union and Israel, this cleansing frenzy has resulted in disproportionate censorship of critical Palestinian voices, including content creators, journalists, and activists in Gaza. Despite being accused of promoting pro-Palestinian content, TikTok has actually censored Palestinian content indiscriminately and repeatedly. For example, on October 9, USbased media outlet Mondoweiss reported that its TikTok account had been permanently banned. A few days later it was restored to suspend it again. The company did not explain.
HARSH GAME OF X, META, AND INSTAGRAM
X has also been accused of silencing pro-Palestinian voices. For example, the account of the U.S. branch of the Palestine Action Group was not able to gain any new followers; The problem was resolved only after public pressure mounted.
Meta holds the lion’s share of all companies in this digital bullying campaign. They indiscriminately removed Palestine-related content, disrupted live streaming, restricted comments, and suspended accounts. Among those targeted is Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, who received more than 15 million followers on Instagram for documenting Israeli atrocities in Gaza; His account was later restored. The Facebook page of Quds News Network, one of the largest Palestinian news outlets, was also permanently blocked.
On Instagram, people who post about Palestine have experienced shadow bans — a covert form of censorship where a person is made invisible on the platform without being informed. Meta has lowered the certainty limit required for automated filters to hide hostile comments for content originating from Palestine from 80 percent to 25 percent. We have documented some cases where Instagram has concealed comments with Palestinian flag emojis as “potentially offensive”.
Meta’s content moderation has never condoned Palestinian speech, especially in times of crisis. The organization’s policies, created after the US-led “war on terror,” dislike and silence Arabiclanguage political discourse. For example, the vast majority of the covert “terrorist” blacklists come from the Middle East and South Asia, reflecting U.S. foreign policy.
WHAT IS DANGEROUS ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS (DOI) POLICIES?
The company’s policy on Dangerous Organizations and Individuals (DOI) policies, which prohibit the praise, support, and representation of these individuals and groups, is the catalyst behind the company’s heavy censorship and discrimination against Palestinians.
The policy was responsible for compliance in 2021 when they took to the streets and silenced pro-Palestinian individuals on social media to protest Israel’s efforts to forcibly deport Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.
In the context of the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza, the Meta said it enforces its policies equally around the world and rejects claims that they are “deliberately suppressing voices.” But the evidence says otherwise.
Two weeks after Russia’s war against Ukraine, Meta changed its rules to allow Ukrainians to express themselves freely. For example, it allowed for calls for violence against Russian invaders. It even designated the neo-Nazi group, the Azov Battalion, under its DOI policy to allow them to accolade.
In favor of these exceptions, Nick Clegg, the company’s president of global affairs, wrote: “If we enforce our standard content policies without any coordination, we will now remove content from ordinary Ukrainians by expressing their resistance and anger against the invading military, which would rightly be considered unacceptable.”
“If we enforce our standard content policies without any coordination, we will now remove content from ordinary Ukrainians by expressing their resistance and anger against the invading military, which would rightly be considered unacceptable.”
Has any adjustment been made to ordinary Palestinians in “venting their resistance and anger against the invading military”? Quite the opposite. In its last updated blog post on Dec. 5, Meta said it had disabled hashtags, restricted live streaming, and removed seven times more content than in the two months before October for violating DOI rules.
Even in the humanities, double standards are fully demonstrated. Meta has gone a long way in coordinating humanitarian relief for Ukrainians, including enabling a feature that helps them stay informed, locate their family members and loved ones, and access emergency services, mental health assistance, housing assistance, and refugee assistance.
No such assistance has been provided to Palestinians in Gaza who are facing communication blackouts and an untold-scale humanitarian catastrophe.
This disparity overcomes how Meta dedicates its resources and enforces their policies. Arabic language content is heavily overcontrolled, while Hebrew content is less managed. As of September 2023, Meta did not have a classifier for automatically detecting and deleting hate speech in Hebrew, even though its platforms were used by Israelis to explicitly call for violence and organize genocide against Palestinians. An internal memo recently revealed that they could not use the newly built Hebrew classifier in Instagram comments due to insufficient training data.
It’s deeply worrying that Meta significantly relies on automated content moderation tools. About 98 percent of Instagram’s content moderation decisions are automated, and about 94 percent of Facebook’s are automated. These tools have repeatedly appeared poorly trained in Arabic and its various dialects..
According to an internal memo leaked to Facebook Papers from 2021, Meta’s automated tools to detect terrorist content incorrectly delete nonviolent Arabic content 77 percent of the time.
This partly explains that we are seeing a serious impact on people’s ability to exercise rights and document human rights violations and war crimes. It also explains some of the unfair system’s shortcomings, including the designation of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest mosque, as a terrorist organization in 2021. Instagram users’ bios with Palestinian flags translates to “Praise God, Palestinian terrorists are fighting for their freedom”; and deletion of body footage from the bombing of Al-Ahly Hospital for violating policies on adult nudity and sexual activity.
Meanwhile, Meta is allowing verified state accounts of the Israeli government — including politicians, the Israeli army, and its spokesmen — to disseminate war propaganda and misinformation that justifies war crimes and crimes against humanity, including attacks on hospitals and ambulances, confessions of Palestinian prisoners, and near-daily “evacuation” orders for Palestinian civilians.
NAZI HUNTERS 2023
Let’s go back to the social media issues. Such disturbing calls for violence have made their way onto other platforms as well. In fact, X appears to be leading other platforms in the amount of hate speech and incitement to violence targeting Palestinians. According to Palestinian digital rights group SevenAmleh, more than 2 million such posts have appeared on its platform since October 7.
Telegram also hosts several Israeli channels that publicly call for genocide and celebrate the collective punishment of the Palestinian people. In a group called “Nazi Hunters 2023,” moderators posted photos of Palestinian people with crosshair signs on their faces as well as their home addresses, calling for their extermination.
So far, social media companies don’t seem to grasp the gravity of the situation at hand. In particular, Meta seems to have learned little from its role in Myanmar’s Rohingya genocide in 2017.
Silencing Palestinians, promoting misinformation and violence against them, in the absence of any meaningful accountability, can be modus operandi for social media platforms. But this round is different. Meta is risking getting involved in genocide again, and it must be corrected before it’s too late. The responsibility to protect users and uphold freedom of expression also applies to other social media platforms.