Selasa 09 Jan 2024 20:22 WIB

Newly Created, Platform X Deletes Account Belonging to Al Qassam Brigades

Al Qassam Brigade Account has more than 125,000 followers within hours.

Rep: Kamran Dikarma/ Red: Erdy Nasrul
X' has suspended the official account of Hamas's military wing just hours after it was created. (illustration)
X' has suspended the official account of Hamas's military wing just hours after it was created. (illustration)

REPUBLICA.CO.ID, GAZA -- Platform X (Twitter) has reportedly suspended accounts belonging to Hamas' military wing, the Al Qassam Brigades. An account with the name @qassam2024 has actually just been created and has more than 125 thousand followers.

“'X' has suspended the official account of Hamas's military wing just hours after it was created. The account had more than 125 thousand followers within a few hours. Social media users criticized the move because all Israeli military accounts, including the IOF, continue to exist on the platform,” Palestinian media network Quds News Network (QNN) reported via its X account on Tuesday (9/1/2024).

Baca Juga

By October last year, platform X had deleted hundreds of allegedly Hamas-affiliated accounts. At the time, X CEO Linda Yaccarino said her platform removed the accounts because they were found to be in violation of the “Violent and Hateful Entities Policy”. The policy aims to stem the proliferation of terrorist content in X.

The removal was announced in response to EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton's order to X's owner, Elon Musk, to outline X's approach to stemming the spread of misinformation on the social media platform. “There is no place in X for terrorist organizations or violent extremist groups and we continue to delete such accounts in real time, including proactive efforts,” Yaccarino said in his letter to Breton dated October 12, 2023, or five days after the outbreak of war in the Gaza Strip.

Last month, human rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Meta of restricting pro-Palestinian content on Facebook and Instagram. HRW believes that Meta's actions constitute systemic online censorship.

“Meta's policies and practices have silenced voices in favor of Palestinians and Palestinian human rights on Instagram and Facebook in a wave of increasing censorship of social media,” HRW said in a report released Dec. 21, 2023, as cited by Al Arabiya.

HRW said there were more than 1,050 Palestinian-related content, including human rights violations, that Meta removed from Facebook and Instagram in at least 60 countries between October and November. The content was uploaded by Palestinians and people sympathetic to Palestinians.

“While this appears to be the largest wave of suppression of Palestinian content to date, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has a well-documented record of cracking down on Palestinian-related content,” HRW said in its report.

HRW revealed that out of 1,050 cases reviewed, 1,049 of them involved peaceful content in favor of the Palestinian people. HRW said the content was censored or suppressed excessively. While one other case involved the removal of content in favor of Israel.

Acting associate director of HRW's technology and human rights division, Deborah Brown, denounced the restrictions on pro Palestinian content by Meta. “Meta's censorship of pro-Palestinian content adds insult at a time when unspeakable atrocities and oppression have hampered Palestinian expression,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

HRW said censorship on Instagram and Facebook includes deleting posts, stories and comments, suspending or deactivating accounts, restricting certain features, including users' ability to engage with posts or follow specific accounts, and limiting the visibility of user content. HRW said their posts also face restrictions. Dozens of users reported that they could not re-upload, like, or comment on HRW posts. “Meta must allow protected expression, including about human rights abuses and political movements, on its platform,” HRW said.

There was no official response from Meta regarding the HRW report.

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