On 2 November, Twitter suspended a number of accounts reporting news from Palestine and Lebanon. Among these were Arabic and English language news accounts of the Palestinian outlet Quds News Network.
Speaking to The Canary, Quds News director Nisreen Al Khatib confirmed these accounts had the blue-tick verification from Twitter.
The account suspensions appear to be arbitrary, as Al Khatib said Twitter did not give any notice or reasons for them.
I am co-director of @QudsNen & I find myself helpless as #Twitter has today morning suspended 3 verified accounts of the network I work with, w/out offering reasons. Quds News Network is an essential site for publishing the Palestinian content in Arabic & English to the world! pic.twitter.com/3q7H4a8xDF
— Nisreen. (@NisreenAlKhatib) November 2, 2019
Meanwhile, journalists have described the move as ‘censorship’. Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada, said that he was “angry and horrified” by the suspension of these accounts:
Moreover, journalist and documentary maker Dan Cohen described the move as “outrageous”:
This is outrageous. Twitter has arbitrarily suspended multiple Palestinian media accounts. @QudsNen is a crucial source for anyone seeking information on Palestine. These accounts should be reinstated immediately and Twitter should ensure it never happens again.
And a spokesperson from Quds News said to The Canary:
We, at Quds News Network, feel outraged at Twitter’s unprecedented move of suspending our verified accounts that cover the Palestinian issue both in Arabic and English languages. We believe that this step is a complementary step to the censorship war run by Facebook and the Israeli government against the Palestinian content on the internet…
But we assure that nothing will hold us back – the Palestinian people’s voices and suffering must see the light through social media, and our right of freedom of expression must be guaranteed and protected.
Twitter and Facebook
The Canary contacted the Twitter press office for a response but it was unable to comment by the time of publication.
Featured image via Quds News Network
Since you're here ...
We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.