My research focuses on the Israeli use of social media in order to arrest, prosecute and jail Palestinians in the West Bank and within Israel. I am investigating how data and algorithms become part of the policing methods used against Palestinians, and how this connects to the translation and reading of images and text that they post on social media. Whilst some Israeli security experts claim that social media can create a new model to locate and control ‘incitement’, I argue that that there is a direct line between classic policing methods used in the occupation territories, and the tactics used today to bring charges of ‘incitement’ against Palestinians for online activity.
In considering the ways the authorities ‘read and translate’ Palestinian social media posts, I would argue that the algorithm, the policemen, the judge, and the prosecutor all affect the way in which cases are being processed; creating a framework that allows almost any Palestinian activity on social media to be determined ‘incitement’. In my field research, I interview, photograph and film Palestinians (and one Israeli) that were arrested for their social media activism, asking them to re-read the words that led to their arrest.