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Facebook: “No Palestinian Pages”

By Jilian C. York | July 25, 2010

I was surprised, but a little skeptical, this morning when I read a blog post stating that Facebook is blocking the word “Palestinian” from its Pages.  After all, a search for “Palestinian” brings back a number of already created Pages.  Here’s what the blogger wrote:

I thought it might be a good idea to make a Facebook page for Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet—a straight-forward thing to do, right? Apparently not, since it seems the very word Palestinian may “violate or page guidelines or contain a word or phrase that is blocked”……A mistake, perhaps? Well, Afghan Refugee ResearchNet is OK. So too is DR Congo RefugeeResearchNet. No threats to innocent Facebook users lurking in those terms, it seems…

…Are Palestinians the only group so banned? Well, not really… after a little fiddling around, I discovered that al-Qaida Refugee ResearchNet and Nazi Refugee ResearchNet are banned too.

It does seem a bit odd, however, that a population of up to 12 million people, receiving more than a billion dollars in international aid, recognized by the UN, and enjoying a degree of formal diplomatic recognition from the United States—is placed in the same banned category as Nazis and al-Qaida.

Odd, indeed.  I decided to try it for myself, with the terms “Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet,” “Palestinian Folklore,” and “Palestinian Music”.  Nada.

Of course, “Israeli Music,” “Israeli Folklore” and “Israeli Refugee ResearchNet” all created no problems.

What is Facebook trying to accomplish by eliminating page creation for a marginalized population?  I would guess that they were trying to prevent abuse of some kind (e.g., pages set up to demean a certain group), but I can’t imagine what kind of abuse would affect Palestinians and not, for example, Israelis.

In any case, as usual, Facebook does not have a strong customer support team to handle complaints about this, nor do they seem to care.  After all, this was their response to the blogger who first documented this:

Unfortunately, we cannot process this request. Your Page name must comply with the following standards:

  • Accurately and concisely represent a musician, public figure, business or other organization
  • Not contain terms or phrases that may be abusive
  • Not be excessively long
  • Not contain variations of “Facebook”

If you believe your Page name fits within these guidelines, please respond to this email and we will re-evaluate your request.

Again, activists, I would advise you to stop using Facebook.

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July 25, 2010 - Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering

2 Comments »

  1. Presumably the policy has been implemented by the owners of Facebook who are Jewish? Must be grounds for challenging in USA or Europe on the basis of discrimination? If you want to have anything more to do with it, that is!!

    Comment by jonathan | July 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. Attention Facebook Helpdesk/Support Team!

    • Apparently, since the launch “Ovarian Cancer Wrongly Diagnosed Casualties”… http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&gid=116089128406419 … published content didn’t appear in any search engine findings — in spite of the ticked “Allow” public listing check-box. Strangely enough privacy settings made available to me, didn’t consist of the more specific “Allow Indexing” check-box, nonetheless reference was made to such provision.

    What was replaced recently anyway by the latest array of settings. Manifestly pointing to the permited public search listing and thus search engines indexing. However, no search engine detected so far “Ovarian Cancer Wrongly Diagnosed Casualties”!

    Yet as one to think that nothing worse could possible happen, in fact I wasn’t even allowed to contribute in discussion within the canvassed topics on the facebook (on any issue at all). Likewise others I assume were unable to join the group began by me, or even to post their comments.

    Courtesy of the parallel universes phenomenon, where ostracised being unable even to contact facebook admin, due to the absent email address. At times comments were made apropos “facebook customer service”, yet no email contact was ever provided.

    Eventually, I came across the … privacy@facebook.com … yet in response to my complaint on the issue in question, merely having received some sort of robotic reply. While being directed to browse through the facebook help/info pages, to no avail to find resolution.

    Undoubtedly faced by other targeted individuals among the reported 500 million facebook users. Warranting additional appeal on my part, sent to the discovered lately … info@facebook.com

    Obviously in these circumstances, facebook admin intervention is vital to rectify such a persistent anomaly!

    Comment by Leo Braun | July 26, 2010 | Reply


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