Facebook Under Fire for Choosing Yemeni Tawakkol Karman for Its Oversight Board

Published May 11th, 2020 - 07:31 GMT
Facebook Under Fire for Choosing Yemeni Tawakkol Karman for Its Oversight Board
An online petition on Change.org has been able to attract more than 30k signatures so far. (Twitter)

Facebook has recently announced 20 names of its new oversight board members, sparking a lot of controversies, especially in the Middle East, as the Arabic-speaking name didn't win everyone's approval.

Journalists, politicians, and activists have been chosen by Facebook to review decisions in regard to removing content off the social media platform.

Yet, Facebook's choice of Yemeni Tawakkol Karman, a 2011 Nobel Prize laureate, has raised a lot of question marks among Arabic-speaking users of Twitter, who said that Facebook "shouldn't have chosen someone with clear Islamist affiliations."

Karman, whose name became well-known following the Yemeni 2011 uprising against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, has since been linked with the political agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Until 2018, she was a registered member at the Yemeni Congregation for Reform, an Islamist political party until her membership was suspended over her criticism of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. She has also been a vocal defendant of the Muslim Brotherhood's figures in Egypt.

Following Facebook's announcement, social media users launched an online campaign asking Facebook to revoke her membership in the Oversight Board, arguing that she's not the right person to make decisions over online content.

Some social media users also tweeted videos and images showing their Facebook accounts being removed in response to the network's decision.

Translation: "Facebook's account has been deleted and the app is now removed. This is the best response and it's better than a thousand petitions. Only when Facebook realizes it's lost millions of users, they will take their decision back."

Additionally, an online petition on Change.org has been able to attract more than 30k signatures so far.


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