October 23, 2024 | MPAC.org| Washington, D.C.— Advocates for Palestinian human rights are facing
censorship on social media platforms, hindering their ability to shed light on the dire situation in
Gaza. Motaz Azaiza, a renowned photographer based in the Gaza Strip with over 7 million
followers on Instagram, was banned from X, formerly known as Twitter, by CEO Elon Musk due
to his documentation of the Israeli government’s ongoing and egregious human rights atrocities
on the people of Gaza. The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) urges X to reinstate Azaiza’s
account and demands that social media companies refrain from censoring Muslim and
Azaiza’s powerful photography and videography are instrumental in raising awareness about the
devastating consequences of Israel’s attacks on Gaza. By capturing the destruction, loss, and
resilience of Gazans, he is providing an alternative narrative to that depicted in Western media
outlets and giving Gazans a platform for their voices to be heard. However, X has suspended
hundreds of accounts allegedly “affiliated” with the Palestinian resistance, equating them to
In addition to Azaiza’s case, American Muslims across the United States – including multiple
MPAC staff members– are also experiencing censorship and shadow-banning on various social
media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and X. This concerning trend has stifled their
ability to express their opinions, share their experiences, and advocate for justice.
Muslim Legal, a startup law firm based in Tampa, FL, recognized the stifling of dissenting voices
and decided to help those advocating for Gazans to push back against censorship. The firm
received nearly 600 complaints of censorship and/or shadowbanning of pro-Palestinian
accounts and content on social media. These incidents highlight the systematic silencing of
pro-Palestinian and Muslim voices, which is a matter of great concern for advocates of free
speech and human rights.
The censorship of Palestinian voices and the suppression of their narratives not only undermine
the principles of freedom of expression but also perpetuate a one-sided narrative. It is crucial to
ensure that diverse perspectives are heard and that the experiences of those impacted are
shared without hindrance.
Organizations and individuals advocating for justice and equality, including MPAC, are calling on
social media platforms to address this issue urgently. We emphasize the importance of
upholding the principles of free speech and providing a platform for marginalized voices to be
heard without altering their narrative.