ELON Musk’s social media platform X/Twitter is a “hotbed for hate speech against Palestines” and has only got worse, according to a new report.

The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media (7amleh), which is based in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, criticised Musk’s platform alongside others in a report focused on Palestinian “digital rights violations” since the Hamas attack of October 7.

Raising a “primary concern”, 7amleh wrote: “Since the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, the platform (now called ‘X’) has become a hotbed for hate speech and incitement to violence against Palestinians. This was happening before the recent escalations, and has only gotten worse.”

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The report points to monitoring from the Palestinian Observatory of Digital Rights Violations (styled 7or), which updates in real-time and has clocked more than 600,000 “individual posts of harmful content” on Musk’s platform.

7amleh’s report notes: “In both incitement and disinformation cases, 7amleh has encountered a significant challenge posed by two of the company’s policies: The community notes and the limited visibility warning labels applied to accounts with a substantial following.

“These policies advocate for keeping the content online, even in situations where there may be potentially life-threatening consequences.”

7amleh further said that Twitter/X had shown “a lack of interest in co-operating with civil society, which further exacerbates this issue”.

Contacted for comment, Twitter/X sent an automated reply stating simply: “Busy now, please check back later.”

This has been changed from the previous automated reply put out since Musk took over the platform, which was only a poo emoji.

Other platforms are also looked at in the 7amleh report, including Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram.

Speaking to the Sunday National last week, 7amleh co-founder and director Nadim Nashif raised concerns that Meta platforms had a “deep bias” in the programming which negatively impacted Palestinian voices.

A 2022 report commissioned by Meta after the strikes on Gaza in May 2021 found that the firm’s platforms had “had an adverse human rights impact … on the rights of Palestinian users to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, political participation, and non-discrimination”.

Nashif said that Meta had “basically failed” its first real test since that report was published, pointing to a host of examples of suspended accounts, blocked content, and the word “terrorist” being inserted into some Palestinians’ profile bios.

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The new 7amleh report also looks at the “fairly widespread Palestinian digital rights violations” on Meta platforms.

It states: “7amleh and partners have documented Meta’s continual censoring and silencing of Palestinian voices and narratives for years, and even as the company has pledged to make improvements, there has still been a continuation of old harmful and discriminatory trends with Meta.

“Palestinian voices are censored, while hate speech and incitement to violence in Hebrew spread across the platforms.”

Meta did not respond to a request for comment, but in a statement issued in October, the firm said there was “no truth to the suggestion that we are deliberately suppressing voice”.

However, it added: “We can make errors and that is why we offer an appeals process for people to tell us when they think we have made the wrong decision, so we can look into it.”

In its report, 7amleh spells out what it believes should be done next, including calling on the international community and the United Nations “to take immediate and effective measures to halt ongoing systematic infringements on Palestinian digital rights, as well as other fundamental human rights”.

It said it wants to underscore "the urgency of addressing these digital rights violations to protect freedom of expression, access to information, and the safety of Palestinians in the digital age".

You can find the full report here.