The US-based social networking site Facebook has shut down a New Zealand based PFLP Solidarity group, as well as permanently closing the accounts of all four group administrators with no right of appeal. The group, which had approximately 500 members, was established after the recent Flotilla attacks to show solidarity with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and raise awareness of the solidarity campaign led by the Workers Party of New Zealand, who are fundraising for the PFLP.
None of the administrators of the PFLP Solidarity group were given any
notice from Facebook that they had violated terms or conditions, and were given no direct reason as to why they had had their accounts disabled.
“They did not even send an email to me explaining why my account was disabled”, said one of the group’s administrators.
Marika Pratley, PFLP Solidarity Campaign coordinator and group
administrator in Wellington said, “This was clearly a political attack against the PFLP and an attempt by Facebook to censor and shut down the solidarity campaign”.
The PFLP advocates a single secular state in all of Palestine, with equal
rights for all, regardless of race or religion, and is the second largest
group in the PLO. Facebook have deemed that support for the PFLP violates its terms and conditions while allowing many blatantly racist anti-Palestinian groups to continue to exist without such censorship.
The Workers Party believes that all political ideas and discussion should be free of censorship on the internet, but wishes to expose this hypocrisy, which often surrounds debate of the Palestine issue. Palestinian groups are frequently censored and branded as terrorists while supporters of the racist state of Israel are not.
The PFLP Solidarity Campaign is determined to continue on, despite
Facebook’s censorship. “We have already raised over $1000 through selling T Shirts. Deleting a Facebook group is not going to stop us showing solidarity with Palestine or the PFLP”, said Christchurch administrator Mike Walker.