Facebook stifles media freedom by blocking Gaza press WhatsApp accounts


A few hours after the latest ceasefire took effect in Gaza, a number of Palestinian journalists there found they were blocked from accessing WhatsApp, a crucial messenger used to communicate with sources, editors and the world beyond the blockaded strip.

The Associated Press reached out to 17 journalists in Gaza who confirmed their WhatsApp accounts had been blocked since Friday.

By midday Monday, only four journalists, working for Al Jazeera, confirmed their accounts had been restored.

This latest interference with press freedoms comes as journalists on ground in Gaza cover the ceasefire with Israel and devastation left in the wake of 11-days of Israeli bombing.

It marks the latest puzzling move concerning WhatsApp’s owner Facebook Inc. that’s left Palestinian users or their allies bewildered as to why they’ve been targeted by the company, or if indeed they’d been singled out for censorship at all.

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