Facebook deactivates accounts of Tunisian political bloggers and activists

Between 29-30 May 2020, Facebook deactivated 60 accounts of Tunisian journalists, bloggers, activists, and artists, and notified them that ‘we’ve determined that you are not eligible to use Facebook. This decision is final. Unfortunately, for safety and security reasons, we can’t give you any additional information as to why your account was disabled.’ In response to the public backlash and demand for clarification, Facebook informed The Guardian that ‘due to a technical error we recently removed a small number of profiles, which have now been restored. We were not trying to limit anyone’s ability to post or express themselves, and apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.’ Nevertheless, there is still uncertainty behind the reason of the deactivation. ‘Facebook has given different explanations for why it has deactivated a large number of Facebook and Instagram accounts in Tunisia,’ said the Regional Director of ARTICLE 19 MENA, Saloua Ghazouani Oueslati.