Rosa Luxemburg hosts a panel on media misinformation in Palestine


Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung held a panel on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, titled “Misinformation in Palestine” at its headquarters in Ramallah. The panel examined the concept of misinformation in theory and in practice, while exploring how misinformation and media distortion manifests in social media. The panel also dealt with the issue of how Palestinian content is censored on social media, shedding light on ways of opposing this censorship.

The panel included two speakers: Fadi Quran, Campaigns Director at Avaaz; and Nadim Nashif, the Executive Director of 7amleh: The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media. It was chaired by Saris Harb, RLS Programs Manager for solidarity and international dialogue.

Fadi Quran spoke about misinformation in theory, stating: “Misinformation is nothing new, it is as old as humanity itself. Today, social media has helped deepen it, and it has affected several world events, such as the 2016 US Presidential Elections, as well as the spread of right-wing populist rhetoric in several countries such as Brazil and Israel.”

Nadim Nashif presented on the strategies of the Israeli government in opposing and controlling Palestinian content, including recent legislation passed by the government that restricts Palestinians from sharing content on social media. He added that “hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested annually due to social media posts.”

Nashif commented on other strategies pursued by the government, stating: “The Israeli government creates pressure groups whose sole objective is to monitor Palestinian content and file complaints against it.” Nashif also referred to the Palestinian dissapointment at how social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have buckled under Israel pressures, describing Israeli measures against Palestinian content as a form of “digital occupation.”

Sari Harb, RLS Solidarity and International Dialogue Program Manager, commented that this panel discussion is part of the RLS strategy to provide a space for political and social dialogue. In view of the importance of the issue of misinformation for Palestinians, Harb stated: “Political education is one of the primary goals of RLS in Germany and around the world, focusing on international issues that affect every people under occupation. We must think collectively on how to find solutions to these dilemmas.”

This panel discussion was held as a part of the Solidarity and International Dialogue Program of Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung, a German organization that has been working in Palestine since 2008. The Program aims to disseminate political education and social critique, encouraging critical reflections on society and culture, and funding a network of social, political, cultural, and emancipatory initiatives. It does so through a number of programs, including: emancipatory pedagogies, social and economic rights, solidarity, and international dialogue.

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