Facebook closes Israeli Arab reporter’s page

Facebook closes Israeli Arab reporter’s page

Khaled Abu Toameh is known for unmasking administrative irregularities in Jordan and the Palestinian Authority

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Khaled Abu Toameh (photo credit: via StandWithUs/Facebook)
Khaled Abu Toameh (photo credit: via StandWithUs/Facebook)

Facebook came under scrutiny Tuesday, a day after it closed the page of Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, who’s known for pointing out corruption in the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.

Toameh is the Palestinian affairs correspondent at The Jerusalem Post and has also published pieces in news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The Sunday Times.

It was unclear whether the social network shut down Toameh’s page in light of official complaints from the PA and Jordan — as The Commentator reported — or if it was because other users flagged his posts as being offensive, as a petition calling for the reopening of the page said.

Recently, Toameh shared articles “which have been in the Jordanian press [in Arabic] about corruption,” he told The Commentator. “I am for transparency, against corruption.”

Toameh noted that while his Facebook page was taken down, people such as the leader of Hamas had an active Facebook page.

“To do this to a journalist is very bad,” he said.

Toameh said he had received a message from Facebook on Monday warning that an item he had posted violated the site’s terms of use. “Content that is hateful, threatening, or obscene is not allowed,” the message read, and warned that further violations would lead to the closure of his account.

“It is not the role of Facebook to act as a censor of the truth,” stated the petition calling to reinstate Toameh’s page. “Stifling the truth and hiding the reality of corruption and incitement of hatred instead of promoting a peaceful solution is not the way.”

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