Social media expert Ziad Alshobaki recently proposed the establishment of a new social media network for Arabs and Muslims to compete with Facebook. Following reports of a deal struck by Israel and Facebook to remove inciting posts on Facebook, Alshobaki said that he believed that in the long run, such a move on the part of Arab countries would lead Facebook to lose users. The interview aired on Sky News Arabia on September 14, 2016.
Following are excerpts
Interviewer: The concern is that words like "occupation," "settlements," or "settlers" will also be forbidden on the [Facebook] site.
Ziad Alshobaki: Even if one believes that Israel was involved in this matter, and managed to ban these words [on Facebook], the Arab media must support the Palestinian people, and must cover issues that might cause problems for the Palestinians with companies like Facebook and YouTube. We have an opportunity today - and I have mentioned this in previous interviews... There are 0.5 billion Arabs and about 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. We could set up a [social media] network especially for us, where we could post all the content that pertains to us and to our peoples, and defends our rights. This would be a free platform...
Interviewer: You mean a platform other than Facebook?
Ziad Alshobaki: Yes, why not? There are 1.5 billion of us Muslims in the world...
Interviewer: But what's the point of a network just for Arabs and Muslims? You'd be preaching to the choir, and that's not the goal.
Ziad Alshobaki: No, we are talking about fighting an American company, which has struck a deal with the Israeli state. We have 1.5 billion... This has nothing to do with religion... There are also 2.5 billion Christians living in Europe, who also fight Israel. Some of them are extremists and are against Israel and the Jews.
Israel is fighting not only the Arabs in Palestine, but any anti-Israeli extremist, regardless of where he lives - in South America, in Europe, or in China. I believe that in the long run, such intervention on the part of Arab countries will lead Facebook to lose users, who will go to other social media networks.