Ex-Meta engineer sues company, claiming he was fired over handling of Palestine content

Ferras Hamad, an engineer who used to work with Meta’s machine learning team, accused the company in court of firing him for looking at Instagram posts about Palestine. according to Reuters, which accuses the company of discrimination, wrongful termination and anti-Palestinian bias. Hamad said the company noted procedural violations in how it handled restrictions on the content of Palestinian Instagram personalities, which prevented them from appearing in feeds and searches. A particular case involving a short video of a destroyed building in Gaza led to his dismissal in February.

Hamad discovered that a video taken by Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza was misclassified as pornographic. He said he received conflicting instructions about whether he had the authority to help resolve the problem, but in the end it was part of his duties to help resolve the problem in writing. However, a month later, Hamad was reported to be under investigation. She responded by filing an internal discrimination complaint, but was fired a few days later, saying she violated a policy that prohibits employees from working on matters related to the accounts of people they know personally. Hamad, an American of Palestinian origin, denied that he met Azaiza personally.

In addition to detailing the events that led to his firing, Hamad also accused the company of deleting internal communications between employees who spoke about the deaths of relatives in Gaza. Employees who used the Palestinian flag emoji were also investigated, while those who previously posted Israeli or Ukrainian flags in similar contexts were not subject to the same scrutiny.

Meta is charged compression of records Those who supported Palestine even before the attacks of Hamas against Israel on October 7. Late last year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren He wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg Concerns are growing that a number of Instagram users are accusing their company of a “shadow ban” for their posts about conditions in Gaza. Meta Review Board managed last year the company’s tools mistakenly deleted a video on Instagram showing the results of an Israeli ground attack on Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. Board recently opened an investigation Viewing cases related to Facebook posts using the phrase “river to sea”. We’ve asked Meta for a statement on Hamad’s claim and will update this post when we hear back.

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