Tamer Almisshal’s social media profile vanished just 24 hours after his programme delved into Meta’s censorship of pro-Palestinian posts.
Al Jazeera Arabic presenter Tamer Almisshal found his verified Facebook profile deleted by Meta Platforms Inc. a day after the broadcast of his investigative show “Tip of the Iceberg.”
The episode focused on Meta’s alleged censorship of Palestinian content in an expose titled “The Locked Space.”
The investigation included a revealing admission from Eric Barbing, former chief of Israel’s cybersecurity division.
Barbing disclosed that his organisation specifically monitored Palestinian content based on criteria such as “liking” photos of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.
Following this, they would liaise with Facebook to remove said content. According to Barbing, Facebook typically acceded to these requests.
Human and digital rights experts, interviewed for the programme, unanimously agreed that there exists a glaring imbalance in the way Palestinian content is restricted on the platform.
The show also featured Julie Owono, a member of Facebook’s oversight board, who conceded that inconsistencies were present in how policies were applied to Palestinian material.
Owono added that recommendations have been forwarded to Facebook to rectify the situation.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, Almisshal said, “After the huge success of the episode, I discovered that my personal Facebook profile had been deleted with no explanations given.”
He added, “It really does seem like some kind of revenge for the programme.”
Established by Almisshal in 2006, the deleted profile had amassed at least 700,000 followers.
“There was no explanation, no warning,” Almisshal emphasised, indicating that his page had never previously breached any Facebook regulations.
The investigation by “Tip of the Iceberg” entailed an experiment involving the creation of two separate pages — one pro-Palestinian and the other pro-Israeli — to test Meta’s handling of content.
The team found a substantial discrepancy in the level of scrutiny and application of rules between the two pages.
Almisshal continues to defend his programme, stating, “Last March, Facebook restricted my account, and it has happened other times, but usually, the situation is resolved. This was a journalistically sound project, and we communicated with Meta for it, giving them the opportunity to speak during the investigation. But to target a journalist individually instead—I would never have expected that.”
Almisshal’s account has since been restored.