According to internal employee communications seen by BuzzFeed News, Instagram deleted posts about one of the holiest mosques in Islam and blocked its tag because its content review system incorrectly linked the website to the company’s name reserved for terrorist organizations United. This error is only the latest content review failure of Instagram and its parent company Facebook, which has been criticized by users all over the world. Contents of the censorship regarding Israeli aggression To the Palestinians.
This error was flagged internally by a frustrated employee on Tuesday, which caused Instagram to delete or block posts with the hashtag of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of the Islamic faith.Since Friday, this mosque has been Conflict location Clashes between Israeli police forces and Palestinians, many of whom visited the site to pray during the last days of Ramadan.
In order to draw attention to violence, Instagram users posted videos with tags #AlAqsa or Arabic#الاقصى or #الأقصى, and found that their posts had been deleted or hidden from search results. Some notices indicated that Facebook-owned Instagram deleted these posts because they were related to “violent or dangerous organizations”. When employees learned about the relocation and the reasons behind it, some of them filed internal complaints.
In one case, an employee saw that Instagram deleted an infographic describing the situation of Al-Aqsa because it was related to a “violent or terrorist organization”. After the employees filed a complaint, they wrote in an internal post that they were told that the image was deleted “based on a reference to the designated organization’alaqsa'” and the term on Facebook refers to “Dangerous individuals and organizations. “(After the complaint, the content was finally restored.)
The Facebook employee wrote on the internal communication platform on Tuesday: “These mistakes and many others are totally unacceptable.” “Al-Aqsa is the third holiest place in Islam, and is believed by about 1.8 billion people. Important aspects.”
During periods of extreme tension and violence in the region, Facebook censored Al-Aqsa’s posts. So far Since the fighting broke out last week, a total of 53 Palestinians, including more than a dozen children, and six Israelis have been killed and more than 300 injured. When people used Instagram and Facebook to spread information from the ground, from the forcible deportation of Palestinians near Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem to the violence in Al-Aqsa, some people found them ‘S posts are blocked or deleted.
For critics and even some employees, Facebook’s latest content review failure is evidence of the American company’s lack of knowledge and resources in the region, and shows that when more than 3 billion people use its products, even careless mistakes can be made. May have a huge impact. world.
Facebook has told before Middle East News Media Nationwide Posts with the Al-Aqsa hashtag “are erroneously restricted,” but the internal posts obtained by BuzzFeed News on Wednesday went further, stating that the content was deleted because of Al-Aqsa.” The name of the organization approved by the U.S. government. “
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment, beyond the content of Wednesday’s internal post.
Last week, Palestinian Instagram users also complained that Instagram stories about the conflict or short videos and images that lasted 24 hours on the platform had also been deleted. Last Friday, the company attributed the error to a social network error that affected users who shared stories around the world.
These errors have caused some Facebook employees to reflect. In a post over the weekend, an employee wrote in an internal group: “The outside view is that FB is silent on political speech in time and apologizes later.”
“Some of these incidents are human audit errors, while others happen automatically. I am not familiar with these relatively common incidents, but why can’t decision makers use local expertise in the decision-making process? [Middle East and North Africa] They decided to consult with them before removing sensitive hashtags or political content, and then consult with them,” they complained before sharing screenshots of various users that their Instagram posts have been censored. They also pointed out that the world Of Instagram users have launched a campaign aimed at scoring the Instagram app in the Google Play store.
In response, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, wrote a day later that the company’s team “try and resolve all issues when they arise.”
However, this effort has not prevented the continued removal of content related to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Last Friday, Israeli police attacked Palestinians and clashes began there. Who gathered Observe the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The complaint about reviewing content with the Al-Aqsa label lasted until Tuesday, when the employee concerned reported that a post was mistakenly deleted.
Although there is a Palestinian armed coalition called the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the West Bank, the United States and the European Union, as well as other similarly named organizations (such as the Al-Aqsa Foundation), regard it as terrorists Considered by the U.S. government as part of its support network, This key Facebook employee said that this is not an excuse to review the Al-Aqsa Mosque label.
They wrote: “It would be totally unacceptable if there was a designated group called Washington’s troublemakers, and the post only mentions Washington’s dismissal,” “I really want to emphasize that our user base This part of has felt alienated and censored, and after encountering so many problems (whether technology-based or product-based), our users will not bring us questions.”
On Wednesday, an employee of the company’s dangerous organization and individual policy group wrote in an internal post that the term Al-Aqsa (الأقصى) “should not and will not violate our policies.”
They wrote: “As many people correctly pointed out, just using the same name as the designated organization does not make the location and organization the same.” “Our policy does not require the demobilization of people, places, or things that only have the same name as the designated organization. Therefore. , Any repatriation based solely on the mention of the name of the mosque is definitely a law enforcement error, and our policy should not happen under any circumstances.”
Others lack confidence in Facebook’s internal explanations. Ashraf Zeitoon, who served as Facebook’s policy leader in the Middle East and North Africa from 2014 to mid-2017, pointed out that the company has hired some of the world’s top terrorism experts, and these experts can definitely connect Al-Aqsa with the Al-Aqsa martyrs’ brigade.
He said: “Let them find out that one of the two words in the name of a terrorist organization is an excuse for la foot.” He pointed out that he was involved in the company’s policy on how the company designates terrorist organizations and their content. Drafting work. “They are more competent than this, more competent than this.”
Zeitoon mentioned that Facebook’s internal concerns about undermining Israeli interests and over-reporting content are potential reasons for the deletion of Al-Aqsa’s videos and images.
In response, a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the content of Al-Aqsa was restricted due to human error, not because of any government requirements.
Facebook deleted and blocked some Palestinian content, causing employees of the social network to make internal comments. Before the company-wide routine meeting led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, some workers began to ask a question, asking: “Our integrity system is failing marginalized groups (see : Palestine, BLM, indigenous women). How will we deal with it?”
This question ranks low among the most common questions, there are at least three different questions in the Facebook work-from-home policy, and I want to know if Mark Zuckerberg will host Saturday night liveLast weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk participated in a variety show.
In another question, an employee asked whether Facebook would move its regional office out of Tel Aviv. Due to Israeli restrictions, some Palestinian American employees could not visit the office.Attention Human Rights Watch Designation of Israel as a apartheid country, They asked whether Facebook would reconsider its position in Israeli cities.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.