LONDON: Facebook’s Oversight Board recommended on Tuesday that an independent review be conducted to examine alleged bias in moderating posts related to Israel and Palestinians.
The recommendation comes shortly after Facebook failed to answer the board’s questions regarding the alleged censorship of Palestinian activists.
In response, Facebook said it would look at the recommendations and added that it “welcomed” the Oversight board's decision.
The case referred to a Facebook user in Egypt who shared a post last May about the escalating violence in Israel and the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank.
The post was from a verified news page and showed two men from Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian group Hamas.
The text accompanying the post read: “The resistance leadership in the common room gives the occupation a respite until 18:00 to withdraw its soldiers from Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood otherwise he who warns is excused. Abu Ubaida — Al-Qassam Brigades military spokesman.”
Facebook originally removed the post for violating its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Community Standard policy but later restored it after the user appealed directly to the Oversight board.
As part of its investigation, the Oversight Board asked Facebook if it had received official or unofficial requests from the Israeli government to remove content related to Israeli-Palestinian violence last May.
Facebook confirmed that it did not receive official requests to remove content but did not answer whether it received unofficial requests.
Tech giants came under heavy scrutiny last May when they were accused of censoring Palestinian-related content on social media platforms.
Read more: How Palestinian-Israeli conflict changed the way social media firms deal with content here.
7amleh, a Palestinian digital rights group, found that Instagram, for instance, removed approximately 500 posts related to the Gaza conflict between May 6 and 19.
Read more: Facebook, Instagram accused of bias by censoring Palestinian content here.