Just over a year has passed since we originally launched Meta, let Palestine Speak, two years since the May Uprisings of 2021 which spurred an Independent Human Rights Due Diligence report into Meta’s practices in Israel and Palestine, and over 3 years since Facebook, We Need to Talk . In each of these moments, a collective of voices including civil society organizations, digital rights experts, independent auditors, elected officials, and regular users of social media have joined in a call to raise the alarm around Meta’s discriminatory treatment of Palestinian users and content. Regrettably, today, we find ourselves in a situation where there is still much work to be done. The distressing reality is that across Meta’s platforms, Palestinian voices and narratives continue to be disproportionately silenced and censored.

As the largest social media company in the world, Meta allows billions of people around the globe to connect with each other, share opinions, and learn about the world. However, Meta is not that place for millions of Palestinians and advocates for Palestinian human rights worldwide. Their content and accounts are censored and over-moderated at disproportionately high rates. This dynamic illustrates the systemic bias and resulting over-enforcement of content moderation policies on Palestinian content. Meanwhile, Israeli content in Hebrew is insufficiently moderated, leading to hate speech and incitement of violence against Palestinians and Arabs spreading widely across the platforms

Double standards in content moderation policies are silencing the Palestinian narrative and violating Palestinian digital rights. This creates a chilling effect among Palestinians and citizens advocating for international law worldwide. Furthermore, over-moderation erases the documentation of human rights violations, thus dissuading political participation as a result of the systematic muzzling of Palestinians online. According to our research, two-thirds of Palestinian youth are afraid to voice their political opinions online. This negatively influences public opinion about the Palestinian freedom struggle by spreading stereotypes of Palestinians, while simultaneously preventing them and their allies globally from raising awareness for their cause. Meta must stop silencing Palestinian voices and narratives. Content moderation policies need to be equal, objective, transparent, and clear for all.

How do we fix this?
Let Palestine Speak, here’s how:


In addition to fully implementing all of the BSR Recommendations, which we support, we call on Meta to end the over-moderation of Palestinian content in its many forms, and to ensure the protection and respect of Human Rights for Palestinians and all people by:

  1. Government Request Transparency: Complete transparency on requests—both legal and voluntary—submitted by governments worldwide, including the Israeli government and the Israeli Cyber Unit, EU, and Palestinian Authority law enforcement agencies, and others. This transparency should involve Meta publicly sharing all data related to the request and subsequent actions taken by Meta.
  2. Automation Transparency & Unbiased Datasets: Full transparency about where and when automation and machine learning algorithms are being used in the content moderation process, including complete data on whether the content was correctly moderated, as well as keywords and hate speech lexicon used for both Arabic and Hebrew languages. Furthermore, Meta must commit to rooting out biased training datasets, and ensure that implementation of AI Generative tools does not produce insulting and dehumanizing results. Finally, Meta should invest in increased human moderation in complex socio-political contexts, such as Israel and Palestine, to ensure more nuanced and accurate moderation is possible in times of crisis.
  3. Dangerous Organizations & Individuals: In their efforts to protect users from terrorism and extremism on their platforms, Meta must ensure transparency on criteria and thresholds to prevent over-moderation that disproportionately impacts Palestinian content. The company must provide full transparency around who and how they designate individuals and organizations. Policy carve-outs should be included for the protection of freedom of the press, as well as the documentation of human rights violations. Finally, to ensure efforts are balanced and not discriminatory, Meta needs to initiate its own investigation to add extreme Israeli right-wing groups to the list, as they aren’t reflected in it.
  4. Co-design & User Support: Meaningful commitment to a continuous co-design process with civil society to improve upon policies and processes involving Palestinian content. Meta must also commit to improving support for users experiencing punitive actions. Meta must provide detailed information as to why content takedown and/or account restrictions are being implemented, and it is imperative that Meta provide clear methods of appeal and timely response to all user appeals.
  5. Hate Speech Against Palestinians: With the recent dramatic increase of hate speech against Palestinians on Meta’s platforms, specifically in Hebrew, Meta must improve their Hebrew language content moderation and provide increased transparency on the efficiency of their Hebrew language classifiers. Meta must fight hate speech in all languages to ensure the safety of Palestinian users and all people around the world.

Finally, for the continued protection of all Meta’s users, and a safer global digital realm, Meta must commit to consistently recurring and comprehensive independent human rights due diligence reviews and audits for as long as the firm continues to exist.