Twitter is being criticized over its paid promotion policy of tweets after Qatar-funded Al Araby TV took advantage of the perk by pushing a hate video showing Emirati individuals being shouted at while visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The tweet in question was retweeted 88 times, liked 566 times, and gained over 18,000 views since it was posted on October 19.
Under a banner reading “People of Jerusalem expel an Emirati delegation from al-Aqsa Mosque” shows a Palestinian confronting an Emirati man asking him not to speak with him.
“Don’t speak to me. Normalizers like you I will not permit to speak to me,” the man tells the Emirati. Another man appears to attempt to calm the situation but the Palestinian responds by saying “respect yourself, get away from me.”
A few days after the first video was shared, a separate recording circulating on social media in the UAE allegedly showed a conversation in which the Emirati man who was confronted by the Palestinian said he covered up what happened to Israeli security forces to prevent any conflict.
“Everyone in the al-Aqsa Mosque knew we were inside. When we went outside [the mosque], a security officer told me ‘Did anyone bother you inside? Told you anything?’ I told him ‘No, nothing happened’,” the Emirati man is heard saying in the recording.
After the incident, the delegation continued their tour without any disturbances and only found out that the Palestinian man had shared the video online when they received multiple text messages from friends and relatives asking about their safety, the Emirati is heard saying in the recording.
Under Twitter’s rules on Promoted Tweets, Twitter says it prohibits the promotion of political content as well as the promotion of hateful content.
“When advertisers on Twitter choose to promote their content with Twitter Ads, their account and content become subject to an approval process,” Twitter states in its Twitter for Business site. “The approval process is designed to support the quality and safety of the Twitter Ads platform. This process helps Twitter check that advertisers are complying with our advertising policies,” it adds.
Al Araby Television is a network that was launched in 2015 and based in London. It is part of the Fadaat Media Group of which the Al Araby Al Jadeed and its sister newspaper The New Arab are also a part of. Under the media company’s website, its main location is listed as Doha, Qatar, and is run by CEO Abdulrahman Elshayyal.
Alaraby Aljadeed group of media organizations, including The New Arab and Al Araby Television, was created by Azmi Bishara, a former member of the Israeli Knesset and now an adviser to the Qatari emir. He is considered a policymaker in almost all Qatari-linked media organizations and founded the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies and the Doha Institute, two think tanks based in Doha.
In August, Israel and the UAE announced that they had reached a US-brokered deal to normalize ties, following years of discreet economic and security cooperation. Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, ratified the UAE deal last week.