Shaun King: I've Been Booted From Instagram Over Palestine

Meta says activist's 'praise for designated entities' violated its policies, leading to ban
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2023 12:41 PM CST
Shaun King: Instagram Silenced Me for Supporting Palestinians
In this undated file photo, Shaun King is seen at Atlanta's Courageous Church, where he served as lead pastor.   (Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

Social justice activist Shaun King says he was banned from Instagram, where he counted millions of followers, for expressing support for Palestinians. A Meta rep said King's account was disabled on Christmas Eve "due to multiple instances of praise for designated entities in violation of our policies," per NBC News. King said he was banned for "speaking up for the human rights and dignity of Palestinians." "I refuse to betray my values and principles by staying silent about this genocide and the war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank," he wrote Monday on Facebook. "You can NEVER mince words about genocide. You can never mince words about war crimes. You MUST speak truth to power every way you know how."

Though Meta was vague about the reasons for King's removal, the company has lately faced criticism for its "Dangerous Organizations and Individuals" policy, which forbids "praise, substantive support, and representation of various dangerous organizations and individuals," per NBC. Human Rights Watch claims "flaws" in Meta's enforcement have led to "heightened censorship" of users supporting Palestinians. Per the New York Post, King "shared Hamas propaganda videos" that suggested the Israeli hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7 "were being treated well." The Jerusalum Post reports that King's Instagram page included "a video of a shooting attack carried out by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians in Jerusalem with a caption claiming that the video instead showed Israelis shooting Palestinians in the West Bank."

The US activist was also accused of lying about helping to secure the release of two American hostages, Natalie Raanan and Judith Tai Raanan, in late October, per the NY Post. The family said it had nothing to do with him. Some also criticized King for stating he was "safe" on Monday. "It is unclear why King's safety would be compromised by the loss of his Instagram account," notes the Jerusalem Post. The 44-year-old activist claimed sources told him Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, was "tracking my IP address and will delete anything I say anywhere I say it," though his Facebook account remained active Wednesday. King told NBC on Tuesday that he'd appealed the Instagram ban and "retained attorneys to proceed with the civil rights division of the legal team at Meta." (More Shaun King stories.)

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