Owns Google and other IT companies. Discriminates against Palestinian users of its online services.
Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, is a U.S.-based publicly traded high-tech and IT holding company. The company reported annual revenue of $136.8 billion in 2018 and is one of the world’s largest companies in terms of market capitalization.
Google Maps, the company’s online map application, discriminates against Palestinians residents of the occupied West Bank in several ways, according to 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media. Google Maps navigation results assume its users are Israeli citizens, who enjoy freedom of movement in the West Bank, and fail to consider the Israeli-imposed restrictions on Palestinians. Many roads in the occupied West Bank are either completely or partially prohibited for Palestinian use, and others are severely restricted. The consequences for Palestinians following Google’s navigation instructions and using these roads without a permit include arrest, car confiscation, and injury or death. Moreover, the Google Maps navigation algorithm cannot find a route to major Palestinian towns in the West Bank, while giving driving directions to even the most remote illegal Israeli settlements in the same area.
Many Palestinian villages are missing from Google Maps, or appear only at the highest zoom level. In contrast, even the smallest Israeli settlements in the West Bank are displayed, and sometimes even labeled as located in Israel, even though these settlements are illegal under international law and are not part of Israel. More generally, Google labels Israel as a country but omits Palestine, even though the State of Palestine is a UN-recognized state, unlike Taiwan and Kosovo, whose names do appear on Google Maps. Furthermore, Google labels Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, despite multiple UN resolutions to the contrary. In contrast, in the case of the Russian occupation of Crimea, Google displays different results for different users, demonstrating the company’s ability to address issues arising from the cartography of occupied territories.
Youtube, Google’s online video platform, also discriminates against Palestinians. Youtube blocks Palestinian content on the grounds that it incites violence while allowing similar or more blatant content by Jewish Israelis. In 2018 alone, Youtube deleted more than 45 Palestinian accounts and channels, including two news outlets.