Instagram has apologized to the international supermodel Bella Hadid, of Palestinian origin, after a complaint she filed that elicited wide reactions on social media.
The story started at the end of last week when the 23-year-old international model, through her official page on Instagram followed by more than 31 million users, shared a picture of an old American passport of her billionaire father, Muhammad Hadid, written in the place of birth "Palestine" .
But Bella, whose full name is Isabella Khair Hadid, was surprised to delete the Instagram website for the photo, justifying it as "violating the rules of using the site."
Bella criticized the removal of her post, and considered that "bullying" against her, and I asked an Instagram question "in what part of my part are I proud of my father and his hometown of Palestine that you consider bullying, harassment, or sexual nudity?".
She commented that she is proud of being a Palestinian, and that "everyone should post pictures of the birth places of their fathers and mothers and remind them that you are proud of your origins."
Bella re-posted the photo to Instagram with the commentary "My father's birthplace. You can't clear history."
Her father also responded by posting the same picture on his account.
A Facebook spokesman responded with an excuse, explaining the reason for the deletion, "To protect the privacy of our community, we do not allow the publication of personal information such as passport numbers on Instagram. In such a case, the passport number has been withheld, so this content should not be removed. We have restored the content and apologized to Bella for this. The error".
Instagram apologises to supermodel Bella Hadid, after she criticized it for removing a post she shared showing a picture of her father's passport with his birthplace listed as Palestine https://t.co/RiaalqH6SC pic.twitter.com/W52HMgE94s
- Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 9, 2020
Is Facebook a tool in the hands of Israel?
This is not the first Facebook incident in the fight against Palestinian content, something confirmed by many witnessing incidents and perhaps the uproar that Bella Hadid has been as a famous person, which made Facebook retract and apologize and provides the naive justification for erasing the publication to hide its bias against Palestinian content, which is documented by evidence from Before human rights organizations.
An international research institution accused Israel last year of using its ties with Facebook to "fight" Palestinian content in the blue cyberspace.
In a report, Impact International for Human Rights Policies linked Palestinian complaints about "restrictions imposed by Facebook" on their content and the existence of a link between economic interests between them and Israel.
According to specialized documentation issued by the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (Mada), Facebook has closed dozens of pages since the beginning of 2019 for Palestinian media professionals and activists from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Mada Center stated in a report that "most of the pages that were closed are widely followed, and their owners have not received any prior warnings, or explanations justifying Facebook's move to close."
The Center condemned the "extensive campaign" of Facebook on Palestinian media pages, and considered it "a grave and serious violation of media freedoms and a response to Israel's positions regarding what it considers incitement to or against its policies and army."
Toha, between Bella Hadid and Instagram after the first published the place of her father, Muhammad Hadid in Palestine, so the latter erased the name of the place because it transmits hatred, so I sent Bella forbidden to be Palestinians
and you cannot erase the history of people by silencing them,
Instagram, I apologized. pic.twitter.com/1YraMCdiRz
- Ibrahim dabbah (@ Ibrahimdabbah14) July 9, 2020
Facebook algorithm works against Palestinians
Several Palestinian activists complained about the recent Facebook policy that led to their ban from publishing as a result of publications related to the Palestinian cause.
Facebook has turned into a platform expelling the Palestinians through its recent procedures and developing a special algorithm that includes some words about the Palestinian cause and its resistance, which is inconsistent with the site's description of itself as a free social platform.
Hundreds of activists were finally forced to circumvent the artificial intelligence technology Facebook algorithm, either by slicing off the words that are causing them to be banned or by replacing them with an alternative sentence or English letters denoting their destination from the post.
Facebook is currently working to track down Palestinian content, and delete its posts automatically through artificial intelligence, after it previously relied on reports submitted against account holders.
The algorithm may have erred when it did not recognize Bella Hadid and the number of her followers on Instagram and around the world, which led to Facebook apologizing, but the algorithm is very effective in other than that by erasing many publications that talk about Palestine, which makes us wonder whether Facebook has become - with its bias against Palestinian content - a free platform for celebrities only?