Instagram Hides Israel’s Rafah Carnage, Bans And Removes Content

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Users who have tried to share content about Gaza on their Instagram stories find themselves either unable to upload or face removal of their posts. They also lose all followers and are asked to recreate their account from scratch.

As Israeli forces killed over 35 people in Rafah on Sunday night, Instagram has been inconspicuously siding with the Zionist state, trying to hide the massacres unfolding in what has been marked as the last remaining “safe zone” for displaced Palestinians in Gaza.

Take Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) presenter Nadja Muftic (@nadja_muftic), for example. Her Instagram account still shows 953 posts, which have accumulated over her longtime use of the app, but she has ended up having zero followers and following zero people after posting content criticising Israel’s most recent assault on Rafah.

An error message apologises insincerely at the bottom of her phone’s screen: “We’re sorry, but something went wrong. Please try again.”

Nadja Muftic has shared another screenshot with TRT World showing Instagram has removed her recently shared video: “It looks like you shared or sent a video that shows graphic violence”, the page says, while remarking that “Your video goes against our Community Standards on graphic violence.”

User @ifurkantr was even unluckier –– he ended up with zero posts, zero followers, and zero following. He had the apologetic error message at the bottom of his screen saying “something went wrong”, asking him to “try again”. He had shared a story about Palestine and was censored by the content oversight team at Instagram.

TRT’s Global Brand and Growth Director, Riyaad Minty (@riyaadm) was not immune to Instagram’s heavy hand, either. He too lost his followers, and the people he followed, received the same error message.

‘Upload failed’

Tellingly, when he tried to upload a Palestine-related video on Instagram stories, he was outright rejected, with an error message in red alerting him that “Upload failed” and offering to delete the offending content so that peace could be restored.

This is not the first time that Meta and its apps have been accused of censoring pro-Palestinian content. Human Rights Watch, for one, is an organisation that has documented the overreaching effect on content that Meta’s platforms have under the guise of Community Standards.

Human Rights Watch has, in December 2023, published a 51-page report on the subject, titled “Meta’s Broken Promises: Systemic Censorship of Palestine Content on Instagram and Facebook” strongly criticising the social media behemoth for its censorship practices.

Parent company Meta (that also owns other communication apps, namely Facebook and WhatsApp) is following the Israeli state’s policy of describing Hamas’ incursion into Israel on October 7, 2023 as a ‘Terrorist Attack’.

Using that as a pretext, Meta has included Hamas under its ‘Dangerous organisations and individuals’ list, and given itself free rein to censor Palestine-related content under this umbrella terminology.

Israel’s war on Gaza has been going on for more than seven months, and the people who are raising their voices against Tel Aviv’s mass murders and destruction in the besieged enclave are using all means at their disposal to make themselves heard.

One of the most useful tools to discuss what’s going on in Palestine would be the Instagram app, many users think.

But an increasing number of users posting about Israel’s war on Gaza –– which is widely considered by students, democratic nations and those with a conscience as a “genocide”, intent on terminating all Palestinian presence –– have found that their content has disappeared, or worse, that their accounts have been suspended.

C. TRT World

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