Category Archives: Facebook

Facebook moves against Hamas

Facebook. (AFP/Karen Bleier)

NOW//BEIRUT – Facebook has shut down Hamas’ accounts and groups on the social media site amid worsening unrest as Palestinian youths target Israelis in a wave of attacks.


“Facebook has closed, over the past two days, a large number of pages run by and close to the Hamas movement’s media in the occupied West Bank,” the Islamist group said in a statement issued Wednesday.


Hamas said the closures came after a “wide-ranging and organized complaint campaign” that it said was supported by direct pressure applied by the Israeli Telecommunications and Foreign ministries on Facebook’s administration.


The statement added that the closed Facebook pages had “played a key large role in supporting the Al-Quds intifada,” in reference to the spate of protests, riots and violent attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and Israel proper since early October.


“Today and yesterday, [Hamas] pages [based] in Ramallah, Galilee, Nablus, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, Salfit, Tubas and Jenin were closed, as well as the page of Muslim Youth League in the West Bank,” Hamas announced.


It added that Facebook also “launched a campaign against Islamic Bloc pages [based] in West Bank universities, closing the Bloc’s An-Najah, Galilee and Palestine Polytechnic pages.”


“At the same time as the closure of these pages, Facebook has closed and frozen the accounts of dozens of publishers and administrators who run [them].”


Hamas also announced that the page of its official spokesperson, Husam Badran, had been shut down.


A number of Facebook pages close to the Palestinian group have been shut down, including Nabdh Adh-Dhuffah [Pulse of the West Bank] and Kulluna Muqawama [We are All Resistance].


“Before this [Facebook] closed one of the most prominent interactive pages supporting the resistance — Sharik [Participate], which is part of Shabakat Quds Al-Ikhbariya [Quds News Network],” Hamas said.


The social media restrictions on Hamas come amid worsening violence in the West Bank and Israel proper that has left 9 Israelis and 48 Palestinians dead, with many fearing the unrest could portend a third intifada, or uprising.


Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh on October 9 threw his support behind a new Palestinian uprising against the Israelis, saying it is “the only path that will lead to liberation.”


On October 21, a senior Hamas official called on the party’s Palestinian rivals, the Fatah Movement that controls the West Bank, to join the “popular uprising.”


Salah al-Bardawil said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas—who leads Fatah—must “engage with his people and work towards their empowerment.”


Abbas, however, has rejected any move toward a new uprising, while Israel has pressured the Palestinian Authority to intensify security measures as Palestinians attacks Israelis in daily stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks.


Israel has accused Hamas of inciting Palestinian violence.


Facebook Redraws Israel’s Borders

Facebook (illustrative)

New advertising settings place Judea-Samaria, parts of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights as ‘outside Israel,’ according to Israeli media.

Facebook not only considers Jewish areas of Judea and Samaria (Shomron), but also parts of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as outside of Israel, according to exposé published Sunday.

The social network updated its advertising system recently allowing editors of popular pages the chance to gear their posts toward a specific geographical location.

However, a great deal of the State of Israel is not considered within Israel’s borders, according to Channel 2. 

Areas within the desired country are usually shown ‘highlighted’, whereas areas outside that country’s borders are greyed out, they explained.

Channel 2 tested the new system to aim posts in eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, for example, and saw that the rest of the State of Israel became automatically “greyed out.” The same happened during any attempt to aim posts toward areas over 1949 Armistice lines or in the Golan Heights.

The news site notes that, as of right now, the posting system merely becomes burdensome; whereas choosing “Israel” should aim the posts to all of the State of Israel automatically, separate settings are required to specify areas Facebook apparently deems as outside its borders.

Facebook did not respond to the channel’s requests for comment

Malaysia: Cops seek duo over Facebook insults on Islam


GEORGE TOWN: Police are looking for two men to help in investigation over Facebook insults on Islam and Malay rulers.

Timur Laut district police chief ACP Mior Faridalatrash Wahid said the duo, B Arulselvam, 29, and Mohamad Azly Anuar, 22 are from Penang.

Both did not have permanent jobs, he said.

“Based on our investigation with the cooperation of the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission, we believe the duo can help us in our investigation in the case.

“The duo are the former workers of the man who allegedly uploaded the status in his Facebook account,” he told reporters here today.

The status was said to have contained harsh words that insulted Islam and Malay rulers as the writer seemed to be dissatisfied at the ‘Azan’ (call to prayer) which he claimed to be very disturbing.
Mior Faridalatrash, however, said initial investigation found that the 43-year-old man had a Facebook account, but he did not upload any status which insulted Islam and the Malay rulers.

In fact, there was another Facebook account using his profile and picture that was activated on April 10, Mior Faridalatrash said.

He also urged those with information on the two men to contact any nearby police station to help in investigation.

He said, to date, 22 police reports had been lodged by various quarters, including non-governmental organisations and political parties, on the insults.

“The police have also recorded the statements of 22 individuals, including the owner of the Facebook account, who is a company manager, to facilitate further investigation into the case,” he added.