Twitter suspended multiple accounts from a leading Palestinian news site on Saturday. Quds News Network (QNN) found three of its accounts suspended, their main Arabic account, English account, and breaking news account.
QNN’s main Arabic account has over 633 thousand followers, the English account has over 28 thousand followers, and the breaking news account has over 145 thousand followers. All three accounts are verified with a blue check mark.
According to QNN’s website, Twitter did not give any reason for the suspensions.
Nisreen al-Khatib, co-director of QNN, tweeted on Saturday, “I find myself helpless as Twitter has today morning suspended 3 verified accounts of the network I work with, w/out offering reasons. Quds News Network is an essential site for publishing the Palestinian content in Arabic & English to the world!”
The suspensions come two weeks after the Palestinian Authority included QNN on a list of over 50 news websites to be banned for allegedly publishing information that is a threat to “national security and peace.” Activists suspect this is an attempt by the Palestinian Authority to silence critical voices.
Twitter also suspended accounts affiliated with Hamas and Hezbollah over the weekend. Hamas’s English and Arabic accounts have been suspended, as well as Al-Ahmed and Al-Manar news agencies, both based out of Lebanon and affiliated with the political party Hezbollah.
Last month, a small group of bipartisan members of Congress, penned a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, urging him to remove accounts associated with Hamas and Hezbollah. “If you believe that Twitter is better at determining violent extremist content than the United States Government’s interagency process, then we urge you to come testify before Congress to explain your own process and how it differs from that of the State and Treasury Departments.” The letter was signed by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), Max Rose (D-NY), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).