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Facebook removes Al Jazeera presenter’s profile after he releases expose

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Facebook has closed the account of Al Jazeera filmmaker Tamer Almisshal just 24 hours after an investigative film aired about the social media platform’s complicity with the Israeli occupation against Palestinians.

Almisshal directed and produced an investigative programme,  Tip of the Iceberg, which aired on Al Jazeera.  The latest edition included a sensational confession by Eric Barbing, former head of Israel’s cybersecurity agency, about Israel’s relationship with Facebook.

“Suddenly and without a pre-warning, Facebook administration shut down my verified account through which I interact with my audience,” Almisshal wrote on a new verified page. He added that he will continue to stay in touch with his audience through the new page.

The programme’s investigation, which aired on Friday, included admissions by Barbing about his organisation’s effort to track Palestinian content according to criteria that included “liking” a photo of a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces.

Then the Israeli occupation intelligence would approach Facebook and argue that the content should be taken down.

According to Barbing, Facebook usually complies with the requests and Israel’s security agency follows up cases, including taking matters to court if needed.

The investigation followed up on Barbing’s admissions by interviewing a number of human and digital rights experts who agreed that there was a distinct imbalance in how Palestinian content is restricted.

The programme also interviewed Julie Owono, a member of Facebook’s oversight board, who admitted there is a discrepancy in how rules are interpreted and applied to Palestinian content and added that recommendations had been sent to Facebook to correct this.

“Facebook retreated and reopened my account,” Almisshal wrote some time after the news network asked Facebook why it had removed his account with no prior warning or explanation.

Source: Middle East Monitor

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