Facebook threatens to ban Alpha News for anti-Hamas cartoon 

The cartoon in question was critical of Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for their commentary on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Stock Catalog/Flickr (www.thoughtcatalog.com)

Facebook has threatened to ban Alpha News from its platform for publishing an anti-Hamas cartoon.

The Alpha News Facebook page now has “reduced distribution and other restrictions” for publishing a cartoon from syndicated cartoonist A.F. Branco, whose political satire is shared widely by conservative outlets, including Fox News.

The cartoon in question was critical of Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for their commentary on the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Many conservatives have criticized the congresswomen for spreading “pro-Hamas propaganda.”

“This is pro-Hamas garbage. And the dishonest script is authored by the terrorists,” Townhall political editor and Fox News contributor Guy Benson said of “the Squad’s” comments Friday.

When Omar accused Israel of committing “acts of terrorism,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said the Minnesota congresswoman was “acting as a press secretary” for Hamas.

“While Biden occasionally says the right things, he’s been silent on domestic anti-Semitism, because a contingent of Hamas supporters now control his political party,” Alpha News columnist A.J. Kaufman wrote in a Saturday article.

The Muslim Brotherhood, a designated terrorist organization in several countries, openly praised Omar for her anti-Israel comments.

The Alpha News Facebook page is now “at risk of being unpublished” for sharing a cartoon that depicts the Squad cheering on Hamas. It appears that Facebook believes this cartoon violated its policy on “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations,” which prohibits content that “expresses support or praise for groups, leaders or individuals involved” in terrorist activity.

Screenshot of the Page Quality section on the Alpha News Facebook page.

The company has also accused Alpha News of “continued Community Standards violations,” but we are not aware of any other violations and did not receive a response from Facebook when we inquired about what other Community Standards we have violated.

Alpha News was only given the opportunity to “Disagree with Decision,” but was not able to submit a written request for a review of the violation, apparently since Facebook has “fewer reviewers available right now because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.”

The cartoon remains published on several other Facebook pages, and is clearly a criticism of those who do spread “pro-Hamas propaganda,” not an expression of support for Hamas in and of itself.

Facebook recently deployed a 24-7 “special operations center” to address content about the Middle East conflict, Reuters reported. The outlet reported that Facebook has banned Hamas and deleted content in support of the terrorist organization.

Alpha News reached out to Facebook’s press contact, specifically inquiring if the violation applied against our page was a mistake, but did not receive a response.