What has been happening in Palestine these days has made people rebel against social media platforms and lead a digital revolution. Palestine has been occupied for over 70 years and over the years we were able to witness all the Israeli crimes being done to it but we, as people couldn’t raise much awareness as we are doing now.
We can’t deny that social media enables us to serve the cause and raise awareness regarding the real situation and what has been actually happening. Even though these platforms are serving our cause and purpose, they are at the same time trying to silence us!
This is why people are leading a huge revolution against these platforms, especially Facebook.
Hashtags and Content Supporting Palestine
Back in March 2012, Shimon Peres and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg launched the president’s international Facebook page, with Zuckerberg to first to press ‘like’ to the page.
In the last week, many hashtags support Palestine on social media platforms that have millions of people worldwide contributing using them.
People have created many hashtags to expose what Israel is doing to the Palestinians right from the start of the Sheikh Jarrah eviction to yesterday when Gaza was under attack and was bombed over 7 times in a row!
So far, the hashtag of #GazaUnderAttack has gained over 3 million people posting about it, while #FreePalestine has over 1 million people, and #SaveSheikhJarrah has also over 3 million people using it.
All of these hashtags are roaming all over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and the response of these platforms is trying to hide the truth!
Facebook and Other Platforms Are Silencing Users
People started to take a stand against the crimes being done to Palestinians and Facebook is trying to suppress them.
Once the eviction of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah started, people took Facebook and the rest of social media platforms and started a hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah along with posting videos from what is happening to the Palestinians. This is when Facebook started acting up!
Many people’s accounts were restricted and some content that supported Palestine was deleted! Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been deleting content and threatening of deleting people’s accounts for breaking the platforms’ guidelines! Instagram also hid the الأقصى# ‘#AlAqsa’ hashtag.
While people’s content was being removed for exposing the Israeli crimes, accounts that posted similar content but to support Israel remained active!
This triggered people’s anger and all hell broke loose!
Facebook Users Have Trust Issues
It seems like there is a trust issue between users in the Middle East and Facebook policies especially when it comes to the freedom of expression for political and military operations against Gaza.
Spreading Awareness about Social Media Intelligence Units and the used techniques and technologies that allow companies or governments to monitor social media networking sites (SNSs), such as Facebook or Twitter.
Creative Solutions to Defeat Facebook Algorithms
Despite Instagram posting that the censorship and deletion are due to technical issues, people didn’t believe and didn’t give up!
Many people and many active users have been publishing posts about how to avoid getting restricted and what to do to raise more awareness.
The first thing people encouraged each other to do was to change the rating of these social media platforms on Google Play and Apple Store.
Facebook ratings on Google Play are down to 3.4, Instagram is down to 3.9, and Twitter is down to 3.7, while on Apple Store, Facebook’s rate is 2.9, but Instagram and Twitter are still keeping their high rate of +4.
People have been switching letters of the Arabic words to English so posts won’t be removed and yesterday, they have come up with a new solution; writing Arabic words without using dots.
Facebook won’t be able to read the new way people are using to type Arabic; this is how you can avoid any restrictions.
The Fight for Digital Rights: You Are The Algorithm
What Facebook and the other platforms are doing has actually hit the news along with the creative solutions.
Since users are the ones who can control the algorithms now, we can still show our support by following the creative solutions to write the truth and about what’s really happening.
Also, people especially Palestinians are advising others to stop commenting on any Israeli content; the high engagement leads to the post being seen by many people.
This is how you can manipulate Facebook’s algorithms and other platforms’ as well.
There will always be a loophole in every social media platform’s algorithm, so no matter what, there will always be ways to keep the support going.