Palestinians Seethe Over Inclusion of Israeli on Facebook’s Oversight Board

Last month, the 20 founding members of Facebook’s Oversight Board, an independent organization tasked with content moderation on the social media platforms, were announced. The board was a response to growing criticism regarding a lack of transparency and consistency in the platform’s decision-making processes regarding freedom of expression.

https://www.facebook.com/facebook/videos/285666172442549/?t=7

According to Facebook:

The members announced today reflect a wide range of views and experiences. They have lived in over 27 countries, speak at least 29 languages and are all committed to the mission of the Oversight Board. We expect them to make some decisions that we, at Facebook, will not always agree with – but that’s the point: they are truly autonomous in their exercise of independent judgment. We also expect that the board’s membership itself will face criticism. But its long-term success depends on it having members who bring different perspectives and expertise to bear.

The decision-making process for selecting the board members seems arduous and fair, and the board members seem to represent a diverse range of views. Members include:

  • Nighat Dad, lawyer and Director of Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan, who once penned an article entitled Why is Facebook silencing Palestinian voices for Israel?
  • Nobel Peace laureate and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman, who has strongly condemned “the Israeli occupation forces for violations against the people of Gaza, demanding an immediate cessation of Israeli massacres in Palestine.”
  • Maina Kaia, formerly the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, and now head of Human Rights Watch’s Alliances and Partnerships program, who has been highly critical of Israel

You’d think the palestinians – who have seethed over Facebook’s blocking of pages glorifying palestinian terrorism – would be thrilled over the composition of this board.

Think again.

 

Palestinian civil society organizations condemn the selection of Emi Palmor, the former General Director of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, to Facebook’s Oversight Board and raises the alarm about the impact that her role will play in further shrinking the space for freedom of expression online and the protection of human rights. While it is important that the Members of the Oversight Board should be diverse, it is equally essential that they are known to be leaders in upholding the rule of law and protecting human rights worldwide.

Palestinian civil society, comprising of the undersigned Palestinian networks, which include dozens of member organizations, urge Facebook and its Oversight Board to consider the grave consequences that electing Emi Palmor may have particularly on Palestinian human rights defenders and on freedom of expression online in defence of Palestinian rights.

This is typical of the palestinian mentality we have seen time and again, including when they spurned a number of generous peace proposals. They want everything their way and will cry if they don’t get it – even when what they do get seems to be in their favor.

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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