Israel supporters spent 100 times more than supporters of Palestine on ads on Meta platforms (Reuters)
According to an analysis by Politico, pro-Israel organizations spent 100 times more than pro-Palestinian groups on Meta's social media platforms Facebook and Instagram last month.
The joint spending on Facebook and Instagram is more than two million dollars, and this spending, though uncoordinated, shows how pro-Israel groups are trying to shape public opinion among Americans, especially younger generations who are increasingly skeptical of Israel.
Politico analyzed an online database that tracks groups that buy paid messages on both Facebook and Instagram over specific time periods.
The newspaper reviewed the advertisements that ran between November 2 and December based on the affiliations of advocacy groups, whether for Israel or Palestine.
For Meta platforms, the world's largest social media site, groups that buy ads in support of Israel include well-known names, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Foundation for Combating Anti-Semitism, a group founded by billionaire Robert Craft.
The newspaper found that their combined spending of $2.2 million exceeded almost any other entity during that period, unlike conservative news outlet Daily Wire and its Meta accounts, which spent about $3 million.
Facebook and other Meta apps face accusations of restricting pro-Palestine content (Al Jazeera)
By comparison, the newspaper found that pro-Palestinian, Muslim and Arab groups spent less than $20,<> in the same period on Meta ads.
The newspaper reported that the American-Arab Committee against Defamation (ADC) was the largest spender of advertising for Palestinian-allied advocacy groups.
The group spent about $10,<> on Meta platforms between Nov. <> and Dec. <>, though almost all of its paid messages did not specifically mention the Middle East conflict.
Abid Ayoub, EDC's national executive director, said: "The purpose of our ads is to let people know that we are here to protect them."
When asked why spending on pro-Palestinian advertising lags behind those who defend Israel, Ayoub said, "Changing people's opinions about a lie requires a lot of money."
Despite all the ads, there is some leverage that cannot be bought with money, especially with young people, and reported that last November TikTok responded to criticism from Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, who claimed without evidence that the platform may have carried out a "malicious influence operation" manipulating American youth through "rampant pro-Hamas propaganda."
The Beijing-based company ByteDance responded in a blog post that pro-Palestinian hashtags were more popular than pro-Israel hashtags on social media.
She pointed to Instagram, where the hashtag "Stand with Israel" garnered about 264,7 shares, compared to more than <> million shares for Free Palestine.
TikTok said: "Attitudes among young people were tilted towards Palestine long before TikTok existed."
Facebook and other Meta apps are accused of restricting content that supports Palestine.
Last November, activists around the world launched the "We Will Not Be Silenced" campaign to protest the ban on pro-Palestine content and the restriction of its access on social media platforms, especially on Facebook and Instagram.
The Intercept reported in October that social media users had complained that Instagram and TikTok had restricted or blocked posts and accounts because of their pro-Palestinian content in the wake of Israel's war on the Gaza Strip.
Source : Al Jazeera + Politico