Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 August 2020

'You can't erase history': Bella Hadid calls out Instagram for removing her 'proud Palestinian' post

‘Are we not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram?’ the supermodel said

Bella Hadid has hit out at Instagram for removing a post in which she said she was proud of her father’s Palestinian heritage. 
Bella Hadid has hit out at Instagram for removing a post in which she said she was proud of her father’s Palestinian heritage. 

Bella Hadid has accused Instagram of bullying after it removed a story in which she said how proud she was of her father’s Palestinian heritage.

The supermodel on Tuesday shared an image of her father Mohamed Hadid’s long-expired US passport, which states his birthplace as Palestine. Shortly afterwards, she received a notification from the photo-sharing platform to say that the content went against its community guidelines on “harassment and bullying”.

Sharing a screenshot of the removal notification, she said: “@Instagram exactly what part of me being proud of my father’s birthplace of Palestine is “bullying, harassment, graphic or sexual nudity?”

She added: “Are we not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram? This, to me, is bullying.”

She finished the post by saying: “You can’t erase history by silencing people. It doesn’t work like that.”

Hadid went on to reshare the image of her father’s passport – which expired in 1998 and had its passport number obscured – saying: “Do you want him to change his birthplace for you?”

Her stories were shared by her supermodel sister Gigi Hadid, who also made it clear how proud she was of her Palestinian heritage.

It is not entirely clear why Instagram deemed the post to go against its community guidelines, but Hadid was flooded with a swathe of support on Twitter.

“We are sick of having Palestinian content censored on social media platforms,” one fan wrote, adding: “Mohammad Hadid’s passport considered hate speech [because] it stated he was born in Palestine. Thank you @bellahadid.”

Instagram has responded with a statement, which was shared with The National.

“To protect the privacy of our community, we don’t allow people to post personal information, such as passport numbers, on Instagram,” a Facebook company spokesperson said in the statement. “In this case the passport number was blurred out, so this content shouldn't have been removed. We've restored the content and apologise to Bella for the mistake.”

Bella and her model siblings Gigi and Anwar Hadid are the children of Dutch model Yolanda and property developer Mohamed Hadid, who was born in Palestine and raised in Jordan.

The siblings have often spoken of what a big part of their lives their Palestinian heritage is, sharing their favourite family recipes and traditions with their millions of social media followers.

Updated: July 9, 2020 01:43 PM

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