Helena Lyng Blak
1 week ago

Former Employee Sues Meta in Gaza Content Case

Former Meta employee accuses the tech giant of bias over its handling of Gaza-related content, sparking a legal battle.
Photo by stLegat
Photo by stLegat

As the war in Gaza rages on, several tech companies are starting to experience some of the fallout on their own turf as internal tensions rise.

On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, a former Meta employee accused the company of bias regarding the way it handles content related to the war in Gaza, Reuters reports.

Ferras Hamad, a Palestinian-American engineer who had been with the company since 2021, alleges that Meta fired him for trying to fix bugs on Instagram. These bugs, he claims, led to suppression of Palestinian posts. 

Hamad was fired in February and is now suing the company in a California state court. While California is known for having some of the United States’ toughest labor laws, it is also an ‘at-will’ state.

This means companies can fire employees at will, for little to no reason, unless it constitutes discrimination.

And that is exactly what Hamad is arguing has happened to him. He alleges that Meta has shown a tendency to harbor bias against Palestinians.

He further claims that the company deleted internal communication in which employees mentioned the death of relatives in Gaza, as well as probed into employees’ usage of the Palestinian flag emoji.

This is not the first time Meta has been criticized for the way it handles the war in Gaza. 

In late 2023, NGO Human Rights Watch accused Meta of similar suppressive practices, claiming that the tech giant’s “policies and practices have been silencing voices in support of Palestine and Palestinian human rights on Instagram and Facebook in a wave of heightened censorship of social media,” alleging that the company engaged in “systemic online censorship.”

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