Egyptian blogger: Facebook “racist” for removing “solidarity” group

BEIRUT, April 24, 2009 (MENASSAT) - Egyptian human rights activist and blogger Wael Abbas lashed out at the social networking page Facebook for removing a group he set with three activist friends in solidarity with the formerly detained Egyptian blogger Mohammed Adel.

Earlier this week, Abbas received a notification from Facebook saying that the group “Operation General Meit” had been removed by administrators because it “violated” Facebook’s Terms of Use.

Abbas had created the group a few months ago in support of the then detained student blogger Mohammed Adel, who was arrested in November 2008 and allegedly faced charges of “terrorism and involvement in an armed organization” for posing in photos with Hamas leaders in Gaza in 2008.

Abbas and activist friends claimed the photo charges against Adel were ridiculous and went on the offensive launching the online campaign “Operation General Meit” in which the group, dubbed “Bloggers for Terrorism” is seen posing with fake AK 47’s and toy guns in parodied pictures.

The main photo for the campaign, which some of the members uploaded as their profile pictures on Facebook, depicted the four activists with broad smiles, showing off their guns, in black leather coats ala the Black Panthers of the 1960s.

“If Meit (Mohammed Adel) is a terrorist, then I’m also a terrorist,” reads one of the photo captions.

Abbas called Facebook’s decision to disable his group a “racist” move from a site that he claims has “double-standards.”

Facebook, said, Abbas is “full of groups about guns. It’s only when Arabs are shown with guns that Facebook reacts.”

“I consider what Facebook did racist and dealing with middle-easterners with double standards because Facebook is full of groups about guns. Facebook is full of groups for movie posters, gangster rap pages and pages dedicated to pistols and machine guns, Real ones. None were deleted. Only Egyptians when they pose with toy guns are hateful, threatening and obscene. Please type "guns" in the Facebook search bar and tell me what you see.” Abbas wrote on his blog.

Adel was released from state security custody in early March this year.

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