How a Secretive Cyber Unit Censors Palestinians

Source: The American Prospect
by Luke Goldstein

“Ahmad Barakat has spent the past five years of his life trying to understand how social media companies think. He’s a digital marketing consultant based in Jerusalem who specializes in helping his Palestinian clientele, ranging from entrepreneurs to activists, avoid shadow bans or content removals on social media platforms. It’s a service in high demand. Widespread censorship has plagued users across the Arabic-speaking world because of translation errors and biases in the algorithms. Barakat’s social media accounts have attracted thousands of followers who go to him for tips on how to get their messages past Facebook’s content moderation. His job is to try and crack open the black box of the companies’ algorithms without setting off any trip wires, which can be a bit like walking across a minefield wearing scuba fins.” (07/12/21)