17 Journalists in Gaza got their WhatsApp blocked

Whatsapp Ban Gaza

The prominent social channel WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook is being partial to the tension going on in Palestine.

Palestinian journalists have reported that their WhatsApp accounts have been banned.

Social media remains an important tool for Palestinians, many of whom feel that the conventional channel’s coverage does not adequately apprehend the actuality of the crisis.

A few hours later when the latest ceasefire went into effect on Gaza Strip On Friday, several Palestinian journalists in the coastal enclosure revealed that they could not access the WhatsApp messenger.

Moreover, two of Al Jazeera’s prominent reporters in the affected Gaza area, Wael Al-Dahdouh, and journalist Hisham Zaqqout have also confirmed this.

They further declared that they were incapable to access WhatsApp many hours after a ceasefire extended throughout the specific zone on Friday. The Associated Press reached 17 journalists in Gaza who verified that their WhatsApp accounts were blocked.

As of Monday lunchtime, only four journalists who worked for Al Jazeera confirmed that their accounts had been restored. They further demanded that the parent company Facebook must instantly revamp their decision to restrain accounts and revive access to journalists who used them as a news dissemination instrument.

This impediment of communication in times of conflict to block the WhatsApp accounts of journalists and activists in Gaza is a suppression of freedom of expression and an obvious violation of human rights. During the disastrous assaults on Palestine, journalists and activists transmitted evidence about the casualties and devastation in Gaza, which eventually came to be impossible after the social media messaging platform barred access to their accounts.

The event reflected the latest activity by the owner of WhatsApp Facebook Inc, in which Palestinian users or their supporters did not know why they were attacked by the company or whether they were censored.

According to Aljazeera’s news, the WhatsApp spokesman explained the company was obstructing accounts to comply with its guidelines “to prevent harm and to ensure the law”. The company declared it had been in touch with the media about its practices for a week.
However, the company has announced to replace journalists if any of them were influenced.

By Mussarat Sultana