A London-based legal and justice centre has filed a formal complaint to Facebook, accusing the social media platform of arbitrarily censoring and suspending accounts affiliated with Palestinian news agencies, advocates and journalists.
The complaint, delivered by London law firm Bindmans LLP on behalf of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) and digital rights group Sada Social, requests that the platform, which rebranded as Meta last October, issue an urgent review of its actions and explain why it censored those accounts.
"The complaint reinstates the request that Meta/Facebook discloses and reviews its decision-making process, and explains why the accounts were closed, suspended or posts taken down, and whether in doing so an algorithm or human discretion was used," the ICJP said in a press release on Tuesday.
The complaint was also sent to the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression.
For years Meta has been accused of censoring the experiences of Palestinians and their narrative on both of its platforms - Facebook and Instagram.
The criticism hit a new high last May when Palestinian activists found that their posts on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, were being deleted and their accounts suspended, often without explanation.
Since the start of 2021, Sada Social has documented more than 600 cases of Palestinian censorship on Facebook and Instagram. The non-profit says that journalists and media accounts were the targets of more than 200 of those cases.
Last June, nearly 200 Facebook employees signed an open letter accusing the company of unfairly taking down or down-ranking pro-Palestine content and demanded that new measures were put in place to prevent this in the future.