CAIRO – 13 May 2020: Appointing Yemini Tawakkol Karman as member of the Oversight Board affiliated with Facebook earlier in May has raised international concern that turned into petitions published on change. Org platform and signed by thousands of activists.
“We, the signatories of this petition, first confirm our annoyance, surprise, and opposition to the way that the Facebook Administration decided to follow in selecting the members of the Content Oversight Board, which was expected to be based on democratic and participatory foundations that allow the platforms’ users to select, who represents them in overseeing the content rather than being forced on them,” one of the petitions stated.
Most of the activists refusing Karman’s appointment were Yemini, as the petition added, “Accordingly, we declare our absolute rejection of the Facebook Administration’s appointment of the Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman at the Content Oversight Board. She neither represents the Yemeni street nor the Arab street, but she is rather a front for intellectual and ideological partisanships, which contradicts with the requirements of this position that include impartiality, transparency, and respect for the people. These features characterize hundreds of Arab public figures other than Tawakkol Karman, whose selection strongly undermines the integrity and reputation of the Content Oversight Board, and makes us, the users, lose all trust in the board.”
that has been signed by nearly 2,775 people so far stated, “Selecting Karman proves a complete ignorance of the Arab political and social reality, where Karman represents supporting terrorist groups, messing with the destinies of nations, and instigating violence. This strongly contradicts with the values of Facebook, as a virtual platform that welcomes diversity, supports respect for the other, and renounces violence.”
“What Karman represents is clear ambivalence. How can a human rights activist turn a blind eye to the murder of thousands of civilians in the Arab region at the hands of those she aids and supports? We call for Facebook to listen to the opinions of hundreds of thousands of signatories of this petition who decisively reject selecting someone who is causing distress in their countries to oversee the content they write. This eliminates any trust between Facebook and its users,” the first petition said.
, also signed by 42,554 people so far stated, “We are against the appointment of Tawakkol Karman as a member of Facebook-Instgram oversight board, as there is a clear connection between her and the terrorist Muslim brotherhood.”
snipped picture of the petition against the Tawakkol Karman on Change. org
Also here is one of the petitions full statement:
“We, the signatories of this petition, confirm our absolute rejection of the Facebook Administration’s appointment of Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman as a member of its Oversight Board.
And we, the signatories of this petition, declare that choosing Twakkol Karman as a member of the board reflects a complete ignorance of Facebook of the nature of the Arab political and social reality that rejects the selection of Tawakkol Karman as a member of the board after having violated, since 2011, all the human rights and freedom of opinion and expression values that she pretends to promote and believe in.
The signatories of this petition declare that Facebook Administration was not impartial or neutral in its appointment of Tawakkol Karman, because of her political affiliation as she publicly belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood through her work as a leader of the Yemeni Islah Party, which is one of the most notable religious parties that work against freedom of expression and democracy and is considered a franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen.
And we confirm that this choice has a political character that places Facebook in a suspicious position, which could turn it from a social media platform to a political one with specific directions that serve some political spectra, even if Facebook used the excuse that Karman would not be a representative of the Middle East on the board and would be part of a group of experts to evaluate the content in any region regardless of her Arab identity.
The signatories of this petition call for Facebook Administration to conduct a thorough research to review everything that Karman published on her social media accounts from 2011 until today, to find hundreds of examples that prove she is one of the most important icons who instigated chaos and violence against countries, people and governments for the interest of the Muslim Brotherhood, and she politicized human rights to serve political interests.
The Administration will find that Karman’s politicized tweets are one of the most important reasons that disqualify her completely to be part of a board that is supposed to be impartial and to oversee Facebook’s content to guarantee the respect of freedom of expression. So instead of selecting an Arab figure who has strong academic background and long experience in public service in the field of freedom of expression and opinion, Facebook chose Tawakkol Karman who is an icon of politicizing human rights in the Arab world and who has offended a lot of human rights activists with her loyal support to the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of human rights principles.
Facebook Administration must know that it introduced to the Oversight Board an infamous figure who belongs to a Political Islam organization, whose integrity and independence are nonexistent in the Arab region, and who cooperated with governments and state apparatus in the region that fund her activities to make use of her work as an activist and as a soft power in order to facilitate these countries’ intervention in the affairs of other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Facebook Administration must know that Tawakkol Karman, member of the Oversight Board, did not in any occasion condemn a terrorist attack on civilians in the countries where she called for protests, and did not defend civilians’ rights to life against the armed terrorist groups that hit the cities of the region day in and day out. That is because she belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood that follows the same policy and never condemns terrorist attacks perpetrated by extremist groups against civilians, because they are keen on improving their relation to these extremist groups. As a notable member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tawakkol Karman follows the same path.
The signatories of this petition confirm that selecting Tawakkol Karman to be a member of the Oversight Board, whose role is to restore Facebook’s credibility, is almost a complete destruction of the board’s credibility in the Middle East and North Africa. If the purpose is to build credibility, figures, who respect human rights, are not politicized, do not use political groups in their battle against governments, and are not used by countries to intervene in the interests of other countries, should be selected.
The signatories of this petition call for Facebook to reconsider the appointment of Tawakkol Karman as a board member, and to respect the will of almost 200 million Arabs, who have Facebook accounts.
Facebook Administration must know that 200 million users must be respected and their voice must not be ignored because it could violate their rights in their safe virtual space that they use for hours every day. In case Facebook ignored these voices, it would be a betrayal of the covenant between Facebook and its users in the Arab world.
We, the signatories of this petition, confirm that Facebook Administration is not aware of the nature of the Arab social and political reality, which rejects the selection of Tawakkol Karman for the Oversight Board even if she would not be representing the Arab region.
At the end, this does not deny the fact that the board will consider Karman the Arabic voice on the Board. The members of the board must know that Karman does not represent the Arab voice, but that of the Muslim Brotherhood that raises the slogan “Islam is the solution”, which negates the notion of diversity and respect for the other and eliminates anything different from or outside the brotherhood, like any other extremist group.
The signatories of this petition would like to confirm that almost 200 million Arab users of Facebook will not forget that the platform they use for hours every day and that they confine in with their private matters ignored millions of impartial and respectful figures, and chose instead a human rights activist who is infamous in the Arab world and who politicizes human rights to serve the interests and aspirations of the Muslim Brotherhood, to rule and to serve the interests of Middle Eastern countries to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries.
The signatories of this petition explicitly demand replacing Tawakkol Karman with another impartial Arab figure, who is respected by Arabs. Relying on her Nobel Prize as a standard will not change her clear politicization of human rights causes to serve the Muslim Brotherhood.”