Facebook Employees Ask the Tech Giant to Review the Content Moderation Systems, While Many Tech Giant Employees Stand in Solidarity with Palestine

The world is well aware of the oppression that is being imposed on the citizen of Palestine, especially Gaza by the Israeli government and though this issue has been going on for many years now, the current atrocities that Israel is imposing on Gaza are beyond words where they have killed over 200 residents up until now, 68 of which happen to be children.

The world however did not sit silent on this genocide and a large majority of Muslims and people from different religions and race came out on the streets in support of Palestine and Gaza. Social Media also played a huge impact in raising awareness about what was happening there and many people started sharing posts related to the issue.

But one thing that came into notice soon on various social platforms was that though other posts which were not related to the Gaza issue their reach were perfectly fine while the posts that was related to the Palestinians its reach decreased drastically. Hence the Palestinian activists and supporters raised awareness that the social media platforms were diminishing their voices by censoring their posts and decreasing their reach.

Workers at Facebook have now signed a petition among them where they have called out the company to review the content moderation systems in order to see why the activists are raising their voices. The company’s moderation system is reviewed and handled by third party workers and algorithm and sometimes specially in countries which do not have English as their first language, the moderation is slightly compromised.

However, the issue became a real one when Palestinians supporters started feeling that their reach of posts related to Palestine was less than their normal posts and the reach of their stories on Instagram had also decreased they called out the company. Instagram stories also started displaying warning notification on stories related to Gaza claiming that they may contain false information and some accounts who shared a lot of stories and posts in support of them were taken down. The final breakdown was when Instagram put a restriction on the hashtag that was related to the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is a sacred place for the Palestinians Muslims as well as the Muslims all over the world.

That was when the people lost it and a majority of people who were Palestinian supporters in groups rated Facebook and its acquired applications with one star on the Google and App Store.

Hence the employees at Facebook passed out a petition highlighting the issue that the employees in response to the low ratings the application has received in the past few weeks feel like that the tech giant is forgetting about their promise to be open about the Palestinian oppression. The employees hence asked the tech giant to do a new audit for content moderation as well as have asked the board of directors to review a post by Benjamin Netanyahu who happens to be the current prime minister of Israel. In his post he called the Palestinian people as civilian terrorists and the tech giant employees claim it had hurt the sentiments of many.

The internal petition was posted in a group by employees called Palestinians@ and Muslims@ and had been signed by 174 employees.

On this, a Facebook spokesperson has said that the tech giant will look into the matter and has committed to an audit for moderation. It further said that there must have been issues which impacted the reach and sharing abilities of people and it apologizes to everyone who felt like that Facebook was suppressing their voices or was facing away from important matters. However, the reach still seems to be lesser than usual for a lot of people.

Apart from this, last month the employees at Google, Apple and Amazon had written internal letters to the executives of the company to stand in support of Palestinians because they felt like the executives of their respected companies did not support the country enough or at all.

Google and Amazon was also called out by their employees to review 1.2 billion dollars deal with Israel related to some computing contract.

However, none of these issues have been responded out by Facebook or any social media platform as of yet.

Photo: Sundry Photography via Getty Images
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