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January 18, 2022 3:37 pm

Facebook Threatens to Ban Head of UN Watchdog for Post Critical of Taliban, BDS Movement

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avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Hillel Neuer. Photo: UN Watch.

Facebook has threatened to ban the head of the watchdog group UN Watch due to alleged content violations, including a post denouncing the Taliban and the movement to boycott Israel.

The post in question showed a photograph of Taliban leaders in the presidential palace in Kabul after their takeover of the country in August 2021. Hillel Neuer commented on the photo, “Prediction: Ben and Jerry’s will never announce a boycott of the Taliban.”

The statement was an ironic reference to the ice cream giant’s controversial decision to end sales in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

That post was censored by Facebook for what it called “violating our Community Standards.”

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Facebook has now sent a new message to Neuer that read, “If you get a few more Community Standards violations, you could lose Hillel Neuer forever. Nobody wants that.”

The message listed Neuer’s page as “at risk of being unpublished” and said the page had “reduced distribution and other restrictions.”

No posts were cited in the message except the Taliban post.

Neuer commented, “They’re confirming that I’ve been shadow banned for over six months and am now facing the complete cancellation of my account.”

“It turns out that, as I suspected, Facebook has been deliberately and unjustifiably hiding my posts from the public,” he said Monday. “Now they’re arbitrarily threatening to delete my account. It’s a Kafkaesque situation, and makes absolutely no sense.”

“We rely on social media to share our vital information about human rights and the United Nations, yet Facebook is stifling our voice and now threatening to shut us down,” he added.

“I am troubled by the lack of clarity in Facebook’s Community Standards, and the lack of transparency and arbitrariness in the application of those standards,” Neuer said. “It’s possible that this censorship was caused by individuals abusing those standards, acting in bad faith to harass me, but whatever the reason, it needs to stop.”

UN Watch has filed a complaint with Facebook’s parent Meta, calling on the company to reverse its actions against Neuer and take steps to prevent such actions in the future.

A petition at set up by the watchdog group, which at writing has garnered over 9,000 signatures, urged Facebook, “Don’t delete Hillel Neuer’s account!”

Facebook did not immediately reply to Algemeiner requests for comment.

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