- Pro-Palestinian activists have accused social media sites, including Facebook, of censorship.
- In a coordinated effort, they’ve tanked ratings on the Facebook app.
- Apple denied Facebook’s request to remove the negative ratings, NBC News reported.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Apple refused a request from Facebook to remove negative reviews in the App store after pro-Palestinian protesters coordinated an effort to tank ratings because of censorship of Palestinian content, NBC News reported.
On Saturday, the Facebook app had a 2.3 out of five-star rating in the App store compared to a more than four-star rating last week. The largest category of ratings is one-star reviews, with many comments saying their rating is due to Facebook censoring hashtags like #FreePalestine or #GazaUnderAttack.
“User trust is dropping considerably with the recent escalations between Israel and Palestine,” said one senior software engineer in a post on Facebook’s internal message board, NBC reported. “Our users are upset with our handling of the situation. Users are feeling that they are being censored, getting limited distribution, and ultimately silenced. As a result, our users have started protesting by leaving 1 star reviews.”
An internal message reviewed by NBC showed that the company was very concerned about the coordinated effort to tank ratings, categorizing the issue as an SEV1, which stands for “severity 1.”
Facebook contacted the App…