New platform to monitor digital rights violations in Palestine

"7or" will collect, document and take action on restrictions facing Palestinian content

Working on a laptop at the Unit One startup in Gaza City, 18 April 2015

Aziza Nofal reports in Al-Monitor:

Palestinians now have a resource where they can file complaints about and track infringements of their digital rights on social media, The Arab Center for the Development of Social Media (7amleh) has created a new platform to monitor and take action on violations of Palestinian digital rights.

The complaints include account suspension and content deletion by the social media companies, as well as defamation, hacking, spreading false news, gender-based harassment, abusive comments and hate speech by individuals. Complainants point out that the restriction and suspension of their accounts can reduce viewership and ultimately reduce activists’ impact on the public opinion.

Called “7or,” Arabic for “Free,” the platform is a response to the blocking of dozens of pages belonging to sites and institutions.

Ahmed Qadi, documentation coordinator at 7amleh, told Al-Monitor the platform was first created in early 2021 to monitor digital rights violations and form a database of reported incidents.

The idea of ​​the observatory, he added, is to monitor and document digital rights violations committed by authorities or companies and work with companies and social media platforms to put an end to such practices.

Any person, company or organization can access the platform and report an account or page deletion, content deletion, misleading journalism, gender-based harassment, hacking, hate speech, incitement or smear campaigns.

According to the platform, since early 2012, the center has recorded a total of 749 violations of Palestinian digital rights, of which 672 were against individuals, 22 against nongovernmental organizations, 15 against media outlets, nine against private companies and 31 in other categories.

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