According to NBC News, Facebook’s request was refused by Apple, to delete poor ratings from the App Store after pro-Palestinian rioters launched a coordinated effort to lower ratings due to the censoring of Palestinian content.
Facebook ratings dropped this Saturday night, from 4.0 to 2.6 on Google Play Store within a week. As per the current record, it has a rating of 2.4 ratings out of 5-star on the Google Play Store and 2.3 ratings out of 5-star on Apple’s App Store. 1-star reviews are the worst rating type.
NBC reported that one senior software engineer wrote on Facebook’s internal message board, “User trust is dwindling considerably with the current intensifications between Israel and Palestine. Our users are upset with our administration of the situation. Users are assuming that they are being censored, getting limited distribution, and ultimately silenced. As a result, our users have started protesting by leaving 1-star reviews.”
Moreover, an internal message reviewed by NBC, that Facebook was greatly worried about the synchronized effort to lower ratings, categorizing the concern as a SEV1, or “severity 1.”
The Pro-Palestinian activists have accused that many social media sites have limited or deleted pro-Palestinian content and accounts.
In reaction to the above, Instagram banned posts with hashtags referencing Al-Aqsa, Jerusalem’s sacred shrine, notifying some users that their content was linked to “violence or hazardous organizations.”
The bans were imposed after Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza and Hamas launched thousands of missiles toward Israel. According to Al-Jazeera at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed as well as displacement of thousands more in the Israeli bombardment during 11 days conflict.
As per Los Angeles Times report, some users used an ancient Arabic script devoid of dots and markings to fool Internet algorithms into not picking up and removing messages concerning Palestine.
Instagram which is owned by Facebook, admitted that it mislabeled the location as being linked to a terrorist group. Both users claimed that their posts concerning the conflict had been taken down. The removals were attributed to a bug in the moderation algorithms, according to the company.
By Maham Bashir