Facebook censors Palestinian criticism

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Facebook temporarily shut down The Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh’s Facebook page, possibly in response to a campaign by anti-Israel activists who object to Abu Toameh’s views on corruption within the Palestinian Authority.

(I’m not sure why they say “possibly”, read on.)

On Monday, Abu Toameh posted a link to an Arabic report in a Jordanian newspaper about the corruption trial of former Jordanian intelligence chief. He also posted a link to an acerbic blog post slamming the PA that he wrote for the Gatestone Institute, where he is a contributor. . .

Hate mail and death threats poured into Abu Toameh’s inbox. While the veteran reporter has received hate mail before, he said the response to the last two posts was overwhelming.

Abu Toameh received a message from Facebook stating he had posted an item that violates the terms of use of Facebook. Then, without warning, his Facebook profile was terminated. A notice said that the account was temporarily closed “for security reasons.”

The account was reopened 24 hours later, but with the two posts deleted and no explanation.

If the timing weren’t convincing enough, the fact the two posts were deleted proves that they were the reason for the suspension.

So why is Facebook censoring criticism of the Palestinian Authority? It could be political bias, but it’s more likely simple cowardice. Allowing criticism of totalitarian regimes could result in their being banned from those regimes. Either way, this illustrates the folly of using Facebook as a medium for political dicourse.

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