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Bella Hadid claims Instagram 'shadow banned' her over Palestine post

American-Muslim preacher Omar Suleiman also says his account was restricted after posting content about Israeli attack on worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque
Bella Hadid walks the runway at the Ralph Lauren Fall 2022 fashion show at the Museum of Modern Art on 22 March 2022 in New York City (AFP)

Dutch-Palestinian supermodel Bella Hadid has claimed she was "shadow banned" by Instagram for posting about Palestine, just hours after Israeli authorities attacked worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque.

"My Instagram has disabled me from posting on my story - pretty much only when it is Palestine based I’m going to assume," Hadid wrote on her Instagram Story on Friday. 

"When I post about Palestine I get immediately shadow banned and almost 1 million less of you see my stories and posts."

In a subsequent post, Hadid posted a screenshot of what appeared to be an attempt to re-post a video of an Israeli officer assaulting an elderly Palestinian man, which she captioned, "Won’t let me repost…for 2 hours now," with a crying emoji. 

Israeli forces attacked Palestinian worshippers inside al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem during an early morning raid on Friday, wounding and arresting dozens of people.

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Scores of worshippers were left injured as Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, teargas and stun grenades inside the courtyards and prayer halls of the mosque.

Omar Suleiman account restricted

Omar Suleiman, a prominent American-Muslim preacher, also claimed on Friday that his account was restricted. 

"Woke up this morning and my @instagram account is not functioning. Clearly shadow banned due to posting video of Al Aqsa being attacked. Nothing inflammatory about what I said at all. Unbelievable" he tweeted.

"Where is accountability for these companies that not only employ Muslims but even solicit Ramadan programming from Muslim community leaders only to ban them when they seek to raise awareness of our plights?"

He added that he was seriously considering "community wide action" and tagged Facebook and Instagram owner Meta in the tweet.

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Instagram has denied the existence of "shadow-banning," which refers to users' posts being restricted and reaching fewer people than normal. 

However, pro-Palestinian activists have long complained of censorship and restrictions on the platform. 

During the escalation in violence in Israel and Palestine in May last year, prominent activist Mohamed el-Kurd said that his Instagram Stories had received less engagement and fewer views for unexplained reasons. 

Hadid has previously called out Instagram for removing a post in which she shared a photo of her father's passport showing his birthplace as Palestine. 

The supermodel has been a consistent campaigner for Palestinian rights and was last year the subject of an attack by Israel's official social media account after she took part in a rally in New York. 

Last month, her sister Gigi Hadid announced that she would donate the entirety of her earnings from Autumn 2022 shows to people in Ukraine and Palestine. Vogue Magazine came under fire for omitting the world Palestine from a post praising the pledge.

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