The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, a women’s rights group based in the Middle East, today accused Facebook of a systematic attack on their group after a photo posted on their page on the website reportedly drew fire.
The group today said Facebook has repeatedly disabled administrators’ pages and threatened to annihilate their accounts for sharing Dana Bakdounes’s photo, which shows her without a veil but holding a passport in which she is veiled and a sign reading: “I am with the uprising of women in the Arab world because for 20 years I wasn’t allowed to feel the wind in my hair and on my body.”
Egyptian group activist Sally Zohney told GlobalPost Thursday that The Uprising of Women in the Arab World Facebook page is an important meeting place for the region’s women’s movement, likening it to the “We are all Khaled Said” Egyptian page at the forefront of the country’s recent uprising. That page “became a symbol of change,” she said, describing the Arab feminist Facebook movement as “something similar.”
Activists said Facebook earlier this month removed Bakdounes’s picture over allegedly offensive speech made in the comments section.
But The Daily Dot cited other reports suggesting the the image had been reported for nudity, with group member Farah Barqawi telling Germany’s Detektor.fm today that the photo was pulled because it provoked “misogynists and extremists.” Feminist Wire said the photo in question had been reported to Facebook for being “insulting.”
Banned Books Week 2012
Have you read any of these frequently banned Judy Blume books?
It’s not Iran, says the Committee to Protect Journalists. And it’s not North Korea. The world’s 10 most censored countries.
Fighting the TB and HIV epidemic in Tanzania: It is estimated that 60 percent of the population in Tanzania is infected with the TB bacteria, and the increasing number is mainly attributed to the HIV epidemic.
A great article in Forbes on Telecomix, a group of hackers that have aimed their sites, and hacking chops, on free-speech starved countries. The group has also exposed western (mostly American) technology firms whose products have (knowingly or…
Reuters reporter Frederik Richter, who has been based in Bahrain’s capital Manama since 2008, was told to leave within a week after officials complained that his reports on the recent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters lacked balance.
“We stand by Frederik Richter’s reporting and we will continue to provide comprehensive and unbiased coverage from the country,” Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said in response.
An important new article in the Wall Street Journal by PAUL SONNE and STEVE STECKLOW singles out some of the American companies making big bucks off Middle East repression. This time it isn’t the arms dealers, but the tech companies. They report:
“McAfee Inc., acquired last month by Intel Corp., has provided content-filtering software used by Internet-service providers in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, according to interviews with buyers and a regional reseller. Blue Coat Systems Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., has sold hardware and technology in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar that has been used in conjunction with McAfee’s Web-filtering software and sometimes to block websites on its own, according to interviews with people working at or with ISPs in the region.
A regulator in Bahrain, which uses McAfee’s SmartFilter product, says the government is planning to switch soon to technology from U.S.-based Palo Alto Networks Inc. It promises to give Bahrain more blocking options and make it harder for people to circumvent censoring.”
Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch writes:
Egyptian blogger Hossam Arabawy came into possession of a CD from the raid and has been uploading a set of Secret Service officer pics to Flickr for the past week. Arabawy posted on his on blog that Flickr removed the photos yesterday, citing copyright infringement. Arabawy’s post led to NPR’s Andy Carvin asking Flickr for a response to the accusations of censorship.
Flickr responded both to Carvin and to me, citing user complaints as impetus for the takedowns:
The images in question were removed because they were not that member’s work. As stated by the Community Guidelines, ‘Flickr accounts are intended for members to share original photos and video that they themselves have created.’