Pro-Palestinian activists claim that Facebook is censoring their posts — and are sinking the social network’s app store ratings by leaving one-star reviews en masse.
According to a CNBC report, pro-Palestinian activists are succeeding in a campaign to trash Facebook’s ratings in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store through “thousands” of one-star reviews.
As of Monday morning, Facebook had a 2.4 out of 5-star rating on the Google Play store, down from 4.1 a month ago, according to an archived version of the site. On Apple’s App Store, Facebook’s rating has fallen to 2.3 stars from 2.7 stars over the same period of time.
The reviews sections on both app stores contain comments condemning the company for allegedly discriminating against pro-Palestinian posts and accounts.
“Facebook shouldn’t try to lower our voices,” said Pakistani Twitter user Hamad Rajput who has helped lead the online campaign. “We are raising and chanting the voices to raise awareness for good cause.”
Go to #Facebook app on Android & Apple stores & rate it 1 star for censoring #Palestinian constant + coverage to silence us. It works, its down to 2.7 stars now, soon down to 1 star hopefully. #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack #PalestinianLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/krJUd8fk0E
— Omar Ghraieb🇵🇸 (@Omar_Gaza) May 18, 2021
Facebook is taking the activists seriously, categorizing their campaign as a severe threat, according to NBC.
“User trust is dropping considerably with the recent escalations between Israel and Palestine,” said a senior software engineer in an internal message. “Users are feeling that they are being censored, getting limited distribution, and unlimitedly silenced. As a result, our users have started protesting by leaving 1 star reviews.”
The campaign comes amid an ongoing ceasefire agreement that Israel and Hamas brokered on Friday.