Fatah Facebook page goes down, social media giant claims it didn't do it

When users click on the page, they receive a message, “Sorry, this content isn't available right now.”

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September 25, 2019 21:22
2 minute read.
Palestinian Media Watch releases a report that shows Fatah promotes terror on its Facebook page.

Palestinian Media Watch releases a report that shows Fatah promotes terror on its Facebook page.. (photo credit: screenshot)

Fatah’s official Facebook page was down on Wednesday.

When users click on the page, they receive a message saying, “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.”

The Jerusalem-based Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) organization was claiming that the social media giant had shut down the page after its year-long effort to get the page closed. However, a spokesperson for Facebook said, " We have received reports about potentially violating content on this page and, as we do with all such reports, are in the process of reviewing that content to determine whether it violates our policies.

"We did not, however, take the action that unpublished this page," the statement continued.

In February, PMW appealed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with the following message: “We strongly request that Facebook immediately close and delete Fatah’s Facebook page and ensure that no similar page is reopened.”

The letter was accompanied by a 45-page report (including addenda) that tracked Fatah’s Facebook activity last year. It showed how Fatah’s posts glorified mass murderers and other terrorists who were responsible for hundreds of murders, which include not only Israelis, but Americans and others.

Earlier this month, PMW published a second, similar report and launched a social media campaign, #CloseFatahFB. The watchdog then accused Facebook of being an accomplice to terrorism for its continued refusal to shut down the official Fatah Facebook page.

According to PMW’s CEO Itamar Marcus, the first report was not only reviewed by the social networking site, but Marcus had a 45-minute conversation with the director of Facebook’s global counterterrorism policy team, Brian Fishman, about its findings.

“During our conversation, I emphasized that every time Fatah posts a new terror message on Facebook encouraging violence or presenting murderers as role models, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are given more motivation to kill Israelis,” Marcus told The Jerusalem Post. “Facebook still chooses to do nothing to stop it. Their willingness to ignore the role they are playing in Fatah’s terror promotion is incomprehensible. Whereas in 2018, Facebook was an unwitting accomplice in Fatah’s terror promotion, Facebook is Fatah’s partner by choice in 2019.”

In a release disseminated on Wednesday, PMW noted that the day before, Fatah posted three different items that appeared to center on PMW’s #CloseFatahFB campaign, though it did not refer to the organization itself. Fatah asked its followers to “support the page.”

Additionally, on Tuesday, Palestinian media accused the organization of “waging a war” against the page.

“The Israeli occupation is waging a new war against the Fatah Movement’s Facebook page,” the Ma’an independent Palestinian news agency reported. “The occupation is claiming that the page glorifies Palestinians that carry out operations against the occupation. We in Fatah are proud of our Martyrs, who defended their homeland and fought the gangs of murderers, who Israel glorifies.”

Marcus said that he expects Facebook to maintain the page's closure and not allow this move to be just a "short-lived suspension,” he said.

The Fatah page was shut down once in June 2015. However, at that time, Facebook said it was closed due to a technical error and not based on violations. The page was reopened in less than two weeks.

“The more we can shut down terror supporting media, the more lives will be saved,” Marcus concluded.

 


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