Social Media; A New Venue to Censor and Prosecute Journalists

Many states and authorities around the world keep an open eye on activity over social media sites (which are considered nowadays as one of the main platforms exercising freedom of opinion and expression) and have dealt with its users with a sense of caution and suspicion. In an effort to censor materials that may threaten them, some authorities have used arrest, interrogation, prosecution and even physical abuse against some users.

This approach has also lead to the banning of certain social media sites for periods or permanently in certain cases. Similarly, this practice of persecuting journalists and activists for their views and material shared on social media platforms has been rampant in Palestine, especially with the widespread use of social media in recent years.

According to the latest statistics of last year 2015, according to a report released through “Social Studio” project initiated by “Concepts” company, to document the status quo of social media in Palestine, results showed that the rate of internet users in Palestine amounted to 50%, furthermore, results also showed that social media users in Palestine amounted to 37%, while the number of “Facebook” users in West Bank and Gaza Strip amounted to 1,780,000 users , in addition to 170 thousand users in Jerusalem chose Arabic language to use Facebook2 ; considered to be as the most prevalent and common social media used in Palestine.

Tags: Censorship, Facebook, Freedom of Expression, Social Media