Posts from @ sjpcolumbia saying their account is being surpressed

sjpcolumbia/Instagram

String of Palestinian college activists had Instagram accounts locked for supporting ‘dangerous’ people

2 of the groups affected are affiliated with Columbia University.

 

Tricia Crimmins

Tech

Student and youth activism groups say their Instagram accounts have been frozen or taken down as a result of their sharing posts about Israel’s latest attack on Rafah.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Israel struck shelters that housed Palestinian civilians in Rafah, a city it had designated as a safe zone. The shelters went up in flames, burning some civilians alive. Images of the attack spread widely online.

The groups affected include Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Palestinian Youth Movement, and Barnard College and Columbia University’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

Instagram told the groups their accounts were disciplined because they “shared or sent symbols, praise, or support of people we define as dangerous, or followed them.”

Earlier this month, almost 300 people were arrested at Columbia University and the City College of New York for protesting in support of Palestine and occupying buildings on campus. Some of the students arrested included members of Columbia and Barnard’s SJP and JVP chapters. Other chapter members were arrested. Some were suspended from their schools prior to the mass arrests.

Maryam Alwan, a Columbia University student and SJP organizer who was arrested last month tweeted yesterday that Meta launched a “coordinated suppression campaign” against pro-Palestinian group accounts, causing them to suddenly be “unable to post.”

The group also posted on its backup Instagram account that its main account, @sjp.columbia, “can no longer post anything on Instagram.”

“Immediately following the horrific massacre in Rafah, Meta has completely barred @sjp.columbia from using our account,” the post said. “This is a clear coordinated suppression campaign leading to pro-Palestine pages being taken down en masse or becoming entirely unusable.”

In their post, SJP also said that Columbia’s JVP Instagram page, @jvp.columbia was removed. As of publication, @jvp.columbia is still unaccessible on Instagram, but @sjp.columbia has been allowed to post again.

Alwan also tweeted that @sjp.columbia’s posts that included quotes from Ghassan Kanafani, a famous Palestinian novelist who was assassinated by Israel in 1972, were removed by Instagram. Kanafani also led the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a socialist organization.

“It looks like you shared or sent symbols, praise, or support of people and organizations we define as dangerous, or followed them,” an Instagram removal message posted by Alwan said.

Palestinian Youth Movement, a group of Palestinian youth living in Palestine or in exile, also tweeted that its Instagram account had been frozen.

“Our Instagram account appears to be frozen,” the group tweeted on May 27. “We’re unable to post, collab, send or receive dm’s at the moment — please bear with us as we determine what triggered this and attempt to resolve it.”

As of publication, the group seems to have regained access to the account which has begun posting again.

A December report from Human Rights Watch found that Meta censors pro-Palestinian content. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, has been getting direct criticism on the issue. Earlier this month, over 200 Meta employees signed an open letter to Zuckerberg accusing the company of censoring pro-Palestinian content and deleting internal posts in support of Palestine.

And today, human rights groups virtually protested Meta’s annual shareholders meeting to demand the company end its “systemic censorship of pro-Palestinian content.”

Meta did not respond a request for comment from the Daily Dot.


The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article

*First Published:

 
The Daily Dot