Microsoft Suspended Palestinian Accounts for Calling Gazan Parents

Without any prior warning, Microsoft suspended the accounts of many Palestinians who used Skype to call their families back home in Gaza.

Without any prior warning, Microsoft suspended the accounts of many Palestinians who used Skype to call their families back home in Gaza to ensure their safety.

One significant example is Salah Elsadi, a Palestinian living in the U.S., who uses Skype to call his family directly on their mobile phones in Gaza. His account, which he had for over 15 years, was suspended, leaving him with no access to his emails, contacts, and other crucial information.

Elsadi told BBC News, “I’ve had this Hotmail for 15 years. They banned me for no reason, saying I have violated their terms – what terms? Tell me. I’ve filled out about 50 forms and called them many times.”

According to BBC, 20 Palestinians living abroad have submitted similar complaints regarding Microsoft locking them out of their accounts. It is worth mentioning that the number of suspended accounts is believed to be much higher than 20.

Learn to Differentiate

Microsoft claims that every Palestinian using Skype to call their family back home has violated its terms of service without providing specific reasons and stands firm on its decision. Many people have filed complaints with Microsoft, but the giant has chosen not to respond.

Eiad Hametto, a Palestinian citizen living abroad, stated to BBC News, “We are civilians with no political background who just wanted to check on our families. I was calling my family from Saudi Arabia. They’ve suspended my email account that I’ve had for nearly 20 years. It was connected to all my work.”

Microsoft’s suspension of numerous accounts appears linked to a perception that Palestinians in the West, especially in the U.S. where the company is headquartered, are affiliated with Hamas. However, Microsoft seems unaware of the challenging circumstances that Palestinians in Palestine have endured for decades and the anxiety and fear that Palestinians abroad experience, not knowing if their families are safe or have been harmed, due to the Israeli colonization of their land.

Concerns to Keep in Mind

Microsoft, once considered the most secure tech company, now faces scrutiny due to this incident. This raises many questions: Is Microsoft eavesdropping on its users without any consent and knowledge? It is uncertain if this situation is a coincidence, given that Meta has recently decided to delete posts criticizing Zionism. Now, Microsoft has suspended multiple accounts belonging to Palestinians.

Are big tech companies attempting to suppress information and present it from a single perspective?

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