In a report in the Financial Times, Facebook employees are circulating a petition asking the company to investigate the moderation system, which has led Palestinians and allies to say their voices are being censored.
At least 63 children were killed during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, which took place weeks ago. Hamas and Israel have now come to an agreement on a ceasefire.
The recent conflict has heightened claims by Palestinians and their allies that social media companies have censored pro-Palestinian content.
Especially in non-English speaking countries, Facebook relies on third-party contractors and algorithmic processes to determine content moderation decisions.
Facebook’s App Store reviews were sabotaged by pro-Palestinian activists after the company banned a hashtag referring to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Instagram.
Facebook employees seem to be paying attention. “Our users and the community at large feel that we are open to dialogue about the situation in Palestine, as reflected in our dwindling App Store ratings and by comments from staff, the press, and members of Congress. As a result, Facebook is in breach of its promise to protect users, says Fried. “We believe the company has the opportunity to better understand our users and help them to regain their trust.
Facebook employees are requesting a third-party audit of content moderation decisions related to Arab and Muslim content.
Facebook is committed to auditing its Community Standards Enforcement Report, according to a spokesperson. Our spokesperson acknowledges that people had trouble sharing on our apps because of several issues. “While we corrected them, they should never have happened and we are sorry to anyone who felt they were unable to be attentive to events of importance, or who felt it was a deliberate attempt to silence them.” Regardless of what any individual posts or their personal belief systems may be, we design our policy to give everyone a voice while keeping our apps safe.Employees of Facebook ask the company to address concerns about Palestinian censorship
An application from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he is alleged to have called Palestinian citizens terrorists, is also being reviewed by the company’s independent oversight board.
As recently as last month, Amazon, Apple, and Google employees wrote internal letters calling for support for Palestine. Three of the largest tech companies report that Muslim employees are not treated well by company officials.
There have also been calls for the companies to review the $1.2 billion cloud computing agreement they recently signed with the Israeli government. So far, no impact of Facebook on information surrounding the fight has been immediate.