Palestinians Boycott Facebook for Two Hours to Protest Closure of Terror-Promoting Pages

TEL AVIV – Palestinian activists called on Facebook users on Sunday evening to stage a two-hour boycott of the social media platform and instead use Twitter under the hashtag #FBCensorsPalestine to protest the disabling of a number of Palestinian Facebook accounts engaged in incitement. Over the past few months, Facebook has cooperated with the Israeli government to shut down accounts it deems guilty of “promoting violence,” including those of top Hamas officials. According to the activists, Facebook stepped up its campaign on Friday, shutting down the accounts of multiple editors of the al-Quds al-Ikbariyyah News Network and Shehab News Network pages in addition to those of many activists and journalists. The boycott took place on Sunday evening from 8pm to 10pm. Bassam Shweiki, leader of the Hebron Defense Committee – an anti-Israeli rule organization, was notified on Sunday that his account had been disabled for three days. Facebook is disabling “anything that smells Palestinian,” Shweiki told the Jerusalem Post. “Facebook says they are fighting against incitement, but most of the pages that have been blocked do not say anything against Israel in a harsh way,” the activist said. “I use Facebook to peacefully, let me say that again, peacefully, demonstrate against the occupation and settlements.