Last month, we posted about a report published at the Independent (Facebook ‘blocks’ accounts of seven Palestinian journalists, Sept. 26) which claimed that two Palestinian “news outlets” had their Facebook accounts suspended “as the result of a new agreement between the social media company and the Israeli government” designed to facilitate the removal of posts that incite violence.
Facebook has 'blocked' the accounts of seven Palestinian journalists https://t.co/8Wnafs1soB
— The Independent (@Independent) September 26, 2016
We pointed out two substantive problems with the report.
The Indy failed to note that the “news organizations” in question (Quds News Network and Shehab News Agency) are both reportedly affiliated with terror groups, and neglected to tell readers that the “journalists” had their Facebook accounts reinstated within a day of the suspension. A Facebook spokesperson apologized, saying the suspensions had been “accidental”.
So, there was really no story here – certainly nothing to support the Indy’s suggestion that Palestinian Facebook accounts were suspended because of the agreement between Israel and Facebook.
Though we complained to the Indy shortly after the article was published, we only recently heard back from editors, who informed us that they upheld the part of our complaint regarding Facebook’s prompt reinstatement of the Palestinian accounts.
Indeed, they took the rare step (rare for the Indy, at least) of adding an addendum at the bottom of the article.
Here it is:
- Two egregious omissions illustrate continued anti-Israel bias at the Independent (ukmediawatch.org)
- Women’s Flotilla About Everything But Helping Gaza (algemeiner.com)