Facebook Blocking Pages With 'Palestinian' in Title

Zuck might want to fix automated censorship issue
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2010 9:05 AM CDT
In this August 27, 2009 file photo, the social networking site Facebook login webpage is seen on a computer screen in Ottawa, Can.   (AP Photo.The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld, file)

(Newser) – For reasons still unknown, Facebook is blocking pages with the word “Palestinian” in the title. Rex Brynen discovered that when trying to create a page for the Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet, only to receive an error message indicating that the title violates Facebook’s “Pages Guidelines.” Brynen experimented and found that replacing “Palestinian” with “Afghan,” “DR Congo,” or “Israeli” worked fine; replacing it with “al-Qaeda” or “Nazi,” however, didn't work.

Max Read tested it out for Gawker with the same result, but he notes that both “Palestine” and “Palestinians” make it through Facebook’s filters—and even the word “Palestinian” is OK if you’re naming a Group instead of a Page. “So it's not that Facebook is deliberately partaking in some worldwide anti-Palestinian conspiracy,” he writes, but notes that Facebook’s automated filtering system has deleted “seemingly innocuous content” relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict in the past. Click here to read about another time Facebook was drawn into the Mideast conflict.

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