MIL-OSI Europe: Written question – Unequal treatment and censorship of pro-Palestine posts on social media – E-002868/2021

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Source: European Parliament

During Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza, many social media users – including many journalists – have complained that their accounts have been selectively blocked, making it difficult for their reports to go viral. Facebook and Twitter have admitted to temporarily blocking accounts that support Palestine, and Instagram has blocked and deleted posts condemning the Sheikh Jarrah evictions. The Arab Center for Social Media Advancement has pointed out that the blocking of WhatsApp accounts is not an isolated incident, documenting 500 cases in which Palestinians’ digital rights were violated between 6 and 19 May 2021. It is worth remembering that Emi Palmor, Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Justice between 2014 and 2019, is a member of Facebook’s independent Oversight Board.

1. Was the Commission aware of this issue that contradicts its proposal for a foreign policy based on our principles and values?

2. Does the Commission consider it necessary to regulate this sector in order to prevent private companies from censoring content for their own political gain?

3. Will the Commission make Israeli participation in EU-funded projects conditional on respect for the Palestinian population’s freedom of expression?

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