Paris Marx is joined by Avi Asher-Schapiro and Maya Gebeily to discuss how Facebook isn’t fully enforcing its ban on conversion therapy in Arabic, what that means for LGBTQ people in Arabic-speaking countries, and how social media has become a battleground.
Avi Asher-Schapiro is a journalist covering technology for the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Maya Gebeily is the Middle East Correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Follow Avi on Twitter as @AASchapiro and follow Maya as @GebeilyM.
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Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, and support the show on Patreon.
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Also mentioned in this episode:
- Avi and Maya wrote about how Facebook is letting conversion therapy posts continue being shared on the platform in Arabic.
- Maya wrote about social media companies blaming glitches for disappearing posts about Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem.
- In September, Buzzfeed published an internal letter by Sophie Zhang on how Facebook was ignoring its impacts on the politics of countries around the world. Zhang has gone on to to do work with The Guardian and Rest of World.
- The United Nations says conversion therapy “may amount to torture” and should be banned.
- Lebanon provides more freedom for LGBTQ people, but there are still barriers.
- Saudi Arabia infiltrated Twitter to identify dissidents, and in 2020 convicted a Yemeni blogger for supporting gay rights.
- In September 2020, Algerian police arrested 44 people for attending a “gay wedding,” using the decoration as evidence against them.
- Israeli security agencies work to ensure Facebook censors Palestinian content at their request.
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