Instagram and Twitter blame glitches for deleting Palestinian posts about Sheikh Jarrah evictions

Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad
Share by

| Palestinians abroad |

Instagram and Twitter have blamed technical errors for deleting posts mentioning the possible eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, but data rights groups fear "discriminatory" algorithms are at work and want greater transparency.

Palestinians living in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood claimed by Jewish settlers have taken to social media to protest as they face eviction, but some found their posts, photos or videos removed or their accounts blocked starting last week.

It came as a long-running legal case over evictions from homes in Sheikh Jarrah has fuelled tensions in Jerusalem where hundreds of Palestinians clashed with "Israeli" police on Monday.

By Monday, 7amleh, a nonprofit focused on social media, had received more than 200 complaints about deleted posts and suspended accounts related to Sheikh Jarrah.

"On Instagram, it was mostly content takedown, even archives from older stories were deleted. On Twitter, most cases were an account suspension," said Mona Shtaya, an advocacy advisor at 7amleh.

Instagram and Twitter said the accounts were "suspended in error by our automated systems" and the issue had been resolved and content reinstated.

Instagram said in a statement that an automated update last week caused content re-shared by multiple users to appear as missing, affecting posts on Sheikh Jarrah, Colombia, and US and Canadian indigenous communities.

Source: This news first appeared in Independent. IE, along with the cover photo, captioned as: Palestinians evacuate following an "Israeli" air strike on a building in Gaza City (Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

Follow us