Social media platform Twitter has suspended the Palestine Online account, one of the most influential Palestinian news outlets. The account which had over 80,000 followers was suspended for violating Twitter rules yesterday, although no explicit reason has been given.
My I know the reason?
— Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur oPt (@FranceskAlbs) November 16, 2022
The account routinely shared on the ground news from occupied Palestine and had built a reputation for exposing on-going Israeli crimes against Palestinians.
Twitter's decision to suspend Palestine Online raises fresh concerns over the issue of freedom of speech on the platform, despite the high-profile acquisition of the website by Elon Musk, who has described himself as a "free speech absolutist".
Twitter has just suspended our account Palestine Online, one of the most largest and influential accounts on Twitter with over 82,000 followers, without prior notice for exposing Israeli crimes and raising the voices of voiceless Palestinian people.#TwitterCensorsPalestine pic.twitter.com/vduv0g6dke
— PO.Team 🇵🇸 (@PO_2023) November 16, 2022
Since the suspension of Palestine Online, other leading Palestinian news accounts including the Quds News Network have begun using the hashtag #TwitterCensorsPalestine to raise awareness and to criticise the lack of freedom of speech on Twitter.