Facebook blocked the Hamas-affiliated Gaza news agency Shehab, accusing it of violating the social media network's community standards against promoting violence despite being notified.
The Facebook page was originally created in 2011 and has nearly 7.5 million followers. "Despite recent outreach to its administrators regarding our policies, we have had to disable the Shehab News Agency Facebook page for repeatedly violating our community standards," a Facebook spokesperson said.
"We have previously explained to the Shehab News team that, in order to keep our community safe and prevent harm, we do not allow praise or support for groups, leaders or individuals who have engaged in violence."
In a Twitter post, the agency announced that "Facebook deleted the Shehab News Agency page and blocks its content for its 7.5 million followers, as part of its policy to combat Palestinian content."
Hamas denounced the Facebook move.
"We condemn this decision and consider it an unjust decision and an attack on media freedoms and freedom of expression," Head of Hamas' Media Division Abroad Rafat Morra said.
"Shehab is a professional agency committed to professional ethics and internationally recognized media standards, so it was able to possess such a wide presence in the media space," Morra added.