Facebook prohibits the word “Palestinian”

The folks at Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet thought they’d create a Facebook page only to discover: Facebook blocks the term “Palestinian”! (H/t Jillian C York.)

Are Palestinians the only group so blocked from making pages? Well, not really… after a little fiddling around, I discovered that al-Qaida Refugee ResearchNet and Nazi Refugee ResearchNet are filtered too.

It does seem a bit odd, however, that a population of up to 12 million people, receiving more than a billion dollars in international aid, recognized by the UN, and enjoying a degree of formal diplomatic recognition from the United States — is placed in the same filtered category as Nazis and al-Qaida.

I’ve sent an email to Facebook customer service—we’ll see what they say.

Just to be sure, I tried myself to create a “Palestinian sports” page — not allowed.

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10 thoughts on “Facebook prohibits the word “Palestinian”

  1. delia ruhe

    I’m not a facebooker, but I’d be curious to know if a codeword would work, say WBGers — West Bankites and Gazans.

  2. Paul Woodward

    This block is based simply on the word “Palestinian” in the name of a Facebook page. “Palestinians” and “Palestine” are ok, and “Palestinian” is ok for a Facebook group. I suspect that on Monday morning a junior editor is going to be asked why he/she made Facebook look stupid — again.

  3. Christopher Hoare

    I found much the same, Paul. I went to Facebook, joined the group “Palestinians” and responded to their request for expressions of support.

    If Facebook doesn’t cease censorship of Palestinian issues we should start a group there for ‘anonymous victims of censorship’ and open it as a campaign.

  4. Rami

    before one year,I raised the issue of not allowing to select your city as Jerusalem/Palestine, if you want to select Jerusalem as a city your country must be Israel, nobody replied, and they did not change it.

  5. omar

    Not True!!! I am a Palestinian and I’ve just created a page called “Palestinian engineers”

  6. Paul Woodward

    At some point in the last few hours, Facebook removed the block on using “Palestinian” in page names. Will the company provide any explanation about why the block was there in the first place? I doubt it.

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