Has your video about Palestine that you posted on Facebook or TikTok suddenly stopped getting engagement on the platform after an initial spike? Or is your social media account restricted due to the posts you made on the attack on Gaza? You may be a victim of censoring or shadow-banning. Social media giants are hindering the ability of Palestine advocates and activists to shed light on the dire situation in Gaza.
Many Nigerian Muslims and Muslim organizations across the country, including MPAC, have reported experiencing censorship on various social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, X, YouTube and TikTok. In an Al Jazeera report, authors, activists, journalists, filmmakers and regular users around the world have said posts containing hashtags like “FreePalestine” and “IStandWithPalestine” as well as messages expressing support for civilian Palestinians killed by Israeli forces are being hidden by the platforms.
The censorship takes many forms but the aim is the same: censoring Palestinian voices and suppressing their narratives. The slogan used to justify the burning of the Quran in many countries in the West or to draw offensive cartoons, the principles of freedom of expression, is now under attack by those the West has appointed and endorsed as arbiters of freedom of expression. All to perpetuate a one-sided narrative.
It is crucial for the giant social media organizations like Meta, X and others to ensure that diverse perspectives are heard and that the experiences of those impacted are taken seriously. It is not proper for them to continue to hide under the excuse of ‘Community Rule’ to alter, hinder or suppress freedom of expression of alternative narrative. We emphasize the importance of upholding the principles of free speech and providing a platform for marginalized voices to be heard.