Digital Apartheid And The Silencing Of Palestinian Voices On Social Media

  • In 1984, the Palestinian American intellectual and Columbia University Professor Edward Said famously argued that Palestinians are perpetually denied the “permission to narrate”.
  • Now, Maha Nassar, a Palestinian American Associate Professor stated, “Editorial boards and columnists seem to have been quite consumed with talking about the Palestinians, often in condescending and even racist ways – yet they somehow did not feel the need to hear much from Palestinians themselves.”
  • Social media used to be a lifeline for many who seek to raise awareness about struggles that are typically ignored or undermined by mainstream media outlets, but tech companies are now actively working to exclude Palestinian voices from their platforms.

Omar Zahzah from Al Jazeera writes:

“In 1984, Palestinian American intellectual and Columbia University Professor Edward Said famously argued that Palestinians are denied “permission to narrate”.

More than 30 years later, in 2020, Maha Nassar, a Palestinian American Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, analysed opinion articles published in two daily newspapers – The New York Times and The Washington Post – and two weekly news magazines – The New Republic and The Nation – over a 50-year period, from 1970 to 2019. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she found that “Editorial boards and columnists seem to have been quite consumed with talking about the Palestinians, often in condescending and even racist ways – yet they somehow did not feel the need to hear much from Palestinians themselves.”

Nassar’s research, like many others before it, clearly demonstrates that more than three decades after the publication of Said’s landmark essay, the exclusion of Palestinian voices from mainstream media narratives in the West – and the attempts to erase the humanity of the Palestinians or whitewash Israel’s crimes against them – continue unabated.

Sadly, however, this unjust status quo has not only remained unchanged since Said brought it under the spotlight – it has deteriorated.

In recent years, social media became a lifeline for many who want to raise awareness about causes and struggles ignored or undermined by mainstream media outlets.

Yet tech companies are now actively working to exclude Palestinian voices from their platforms, thereby expanding the calculated erasure and silencing of the Palestinians to social media…”

See full story here.



Categories: Government, International, Politics

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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