RAMALLAH, Saturday, December 26, 2020 (WAFA) – The Palestinian non-governmental organization, Sada Social, said it documented an intentional decrease of users-reach in major pages on Facebook, where the drop marked 50% and even more, and linked this to their reporting on the Arab normalization with Israel.
Sada Social Center said it has been receiving since a week many complaints from managers of Palestinian and Arab pages on Facebook regarding a sharp drop in the rate of access of their posts which dropped by 50% of the general average, and in some cases, it dropped by more than 80%. As a result, it said, these pages are suffering now from a drop in user interaction with their publications.
Most of the pages that complained to the center are followed by millions of users on Facebook, it said. After running an analysis of these complaints and the nature of the pages, Sada Social concluded that these platforms are publishing only in Arabic and all of them have noticed recently a marked increase in receiving reports and warning messages from Facebook regarding publications related to the Palestinian cause, while these pages actively participated recently in covering the issue of Arab normalization with the Israeli occupation.
A technical expert confirmed to the Sada Social and through the data made available to him that what is happening is "an intentional procedure" that users will not notice clearly and that this can be easily done through management of data algorithms in Facebook.
As a result of these facts, Sada Social Center said it considered what happened was "a clear infringement and manipulation" of Arabic content and called on Facebook to clarify its reasons, especially since the analysis findings concluded that it was a deliberate and punitive action against media platforms that covered the issue of normalization.
The Center also called on international human rights bodies to follow up the case and "the flagrant infringement it reflects on freedom of opinion and expression."