'Twitter has provided no explanation for why it shut down the accounts of Quds News Network, a major Palestinian news service, over the weekend.
This alarming act of censorship is another indication of the complicity of major social media firms in Israel’s efforts to suppress news and information about its abuses of Palestinian rights.
QNN said on Monday that its four main accounts were suspended without warning or explanation early on Saturday.
QNN said it has pursued efforts to appeal the suspensions through Twitter’s website but received no response.
Twitter typically notifies users of alleged violations of its terms of service and provides them an opportunity to remove violating content or to appeal a decision.
The Electronic Intifada also wrote to Twitter’s press team on Saturday seeking comment on the company’s actions against QNN, but has received no response.
QNN said it “rejects responding to Israeli pressure, fighting Palestinian content under the pretext of fighting ‘violence and terrorism.’”
“Such practices are complete bias towards the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people,” the publication added.
The Electronic Intifada has frequently cited QNN’s tweets in its reporting, as the publication often provides near real-time coverage of events on the ground throughout the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Its coverage has been highly reliable.
Twitter has previously enforced Israeli military censorship by compelling users to delete specific tweets.
But shutting out entire publications from its platform marks a new phase in efforts to block information from and about Palestine.
Twitter’s action follows a recent decision by the Palestinian Authority to block access to the websites of dozens of Palestinian news outlets, including QNN, in a major crackdown on freedom of expression.
The Palestinian Authority collaborates closely with Israeli occupation forces under the banner of “security coordination.”
Twitter’s action also follows a long-standing censorship campaign by Facebook targeting Palestinian journalistsand publications.'
Read more: Twitter censors news from Palestine
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18 February 2020
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