Khaled Abu Toameh’s Facebook account blocked

January 15, 2013

Former JPost reporter Khaled Abu Toameh’s Facebook account has been blocked, apparently because of articles he posted about corruption in the ‘Palestinian Authority’ (Hat Tip: Lahav Harkov via Twitter).

The Commentator has learned that following complaints from the Palestinian Authority and Jordanian security authorities about his articles dealing with corruption, Facebook had taken the steps necessary to effectively censor his work.

In speaking this morning to us, Abu Toameh noted, “All I have done recently is share some articles which have been in the Jordanian press (in Arabic) about corruption. I am for transparency, against corruption, and yet they ban my account and continue to allow the leader of Hamas to have an account. I am not in favour of terrorism like he is. This is an attempt to silence me. To do this to a journalist is very bad.”

Facebook sent the following pro-forma e-mail to Abu Toameh yesterday evening: “You posted an item that violated our Terms of Use, and this item has been removed. Among other things, content that is hateful, threatening, or obscene is not allowed, nor is content that attacks an individual or group. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in your account being disabled.”

Toameh also told The Commentator that over the past few days, he has been the subject of much online abuse, as well as threats and an apparently concerted smear campaign against him.
This recently culminated in the posting of an article on the ‘Sabbah.biz’ website, accusing Toameh of being an ‘Israeli Hasbara agent’ and showing a picture of him with the Star of David on his head. The website is run by ‘Haitham Sabbah’, who is based out of Tulkarm in the West Bank.

A petition is already being circulated calling for Facebook to restore the account, stating: “It is not the role of Facebook to act as a censor of the truth so please sign to put pressure on to reopen this account if there is to be a chance for peace, stifling the truth and hiding the reality of corruption and incitement of hatred instead of promoting a peaceful solution is not the way.”

Disgraceful. Click through and sign the petition. 


China Says Internet Freedom Assured as Baidu Faces New York Suit

May 20, 2011

May 19 (Bloomberg) — China, responding to a lawsuit in the U.S. that accused the Chinese government and local search engine Baidu Inc. of censoring Internet information, said Web users are free to express themselves.

China guarantees “freedom of speech” on the Internet, Jiang Yu, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said today in response to questions about the case. Eight Chinese residents in New York filed a lawsuit in the city yesterday against Baidu, saying the Chinese company helps the government censor political expression in violation of the U.S. constitution.
Foreign courts have no jurisdiction in China, Jiang said today at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
China requires websites to self censor pornography, gambling and content critical of the ruling Communist Party, a rule that led Google Inc. to pull its search engine out of the country last year. The world’s largest Internet market by users blocks Google’s YouTube video-sharing site as well as social networking services run by Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.
The plaintiffs seek $16 million in damages from the company and the Chinese government after their “writings, publications and coverage of pro-democracy events” were censored and banned from Baidu’s search engine, according to the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. They also charge Baidu and China violated New York State civil rights laws.
Kaiser Kuo, a spokesman for Baidu, declined to comment. The Beijing-based company, which operates China’s most popular search engine, trades on the Nasdaq Stock Market, where its American depositary receipts rose 3 cents to $131.84 yesterday.
“China will be required to answer the complaint or there will be a default judgment against them,” Stephen Preziosi, the New York-based lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said in a telephone interview.
Baidu has enjoyed a “near monopoly” in Internet searches in China since Google Inc. cut back on operations there, according to a presentation this month by brokerage CLSA Ltd.
Nasdaq Trading
The complaint refers to the plaintiffs as “promoters of democracy in China through their writings, publications, reporting.”
“They put their stuff on the Internet,” Preziosi said. “Now you have a foreign state using a private corporation as its arm, agent and enforcer in suppressing and censoring political speech.”
Two of the plaintiffs list addresses in Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens, New York, that has a large concentration of Chinese-speaking Americans.
The case is Zhang v. Baidu.com Inc., 11-3388, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan.)

–With assistance from Michael Forsythe in Beijing, and Mark Lee in Hong Kong. Editor: Andrew Dunn, Fred Strasser, Young-Sam Cho.
To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


Google Blocking Negative Search Recommendations On Islam – Why?

January 6, 2010

Religion always causes a stir when it is debated, and Google seems to know it. Google is not taking a fair approach to the way that it handles searches for different religions.

When you search for the major religions of the world, the monotheistic faiths for example, Google serves up suggestions for the search “Christianity is” such as, “a lie,” or false.” Try it on a a number of faiths, and then Islam.

Notice any difference?

Google is systematically blocking, it seems, all search suggestions for Islam. Why? To remove the chance of an adherent of the faith from being offended by a perhaps severe search suggestion? Why not treat all search terms equally?

Given the complete lack of suggestions, not just terms that could be perceived as negative, it seems that Google is covering its, well, behind.

Don’t want to do all the leg work? Check the image after the jump.


Google Blocking Negative Search Recommendations On Islam – Why?

January 6, 2010

Religion always causes a stir when it is debated, and Google seems to know it. Google is not taking a fair approach to the way that it handles searches for different religions.

When you search for the major religions of the world, the monotheistic faiths for example, Google serves up suggestions for the search “Christianity is” such as, “a lie,” or false.” Try it on a a number of faiths, and then Islam.

Notice any difference?

Google is systematically blocking, it seems, all search suggestions for Islam. Why? To remove the chance of an adherent of the faith from being offended by a perhaps severe search suggestion? Why not treat all search terms equally?

Given the complete lack of suggestions, not just terms that could be perceived as negative, it seems that Google is covering its, well, behind.

Don’t want to do all the leg work? Check the image after the jump.

Google Blocking Negative Search Recommendations On Islam   Why?

A thank you to the Atheism sub-Reddit for finding this. Original post here.

Posted via web from noahdavidsimon’s posterous