Unmasking Digital Influence: How The Controversial ‘Words Of Iron’ App Is Behind Palestine Censorship
Beyond getting bombarded by graphic images of Palestinian children getting killed during the drawn-out Gaza genocide, we are also continuously exposed to users sharing how either their post or account faced Instagram censorship.
Censorship of Palestinian content is becoming all too common on social media platforms, but the real twist is who’s actually behind it. It turns out it’s not merely Instagram but rather one individual person, a software engineer called Shaked Lokits.
How does it work, you may ask? Well, you simply head to wordsofiron.com, pick out the social media platforms that you usually use, and then either promote posts that support Israel or report any posts that are anti-Israel so that they can be removed from the internet.
The Team Behind ‘Words Of Iron’
Lokits isn’t alone in this initiative; he managed to attract about 500 volunteers whose sole role is to scour the internet and social media, moderate content, and push to remove certain content and posts. The team is made up of programmers, product experts, and individuals with experience in building and creating advanced systems.
Some of the team includes Frontend & UX Architect Igor Shegolev as well as Backend Architect Doron Ben-Elazar and Product Manager Avian Teresh.
According to the team, ‘Words of Iron’ was able to make a scalable, production-grade cloud application that is “strengthening our nation’s presence and voice on social media.” They even have an open call for more volunteers to join and promote Israel while demoting content or posts that promote Palestine or show Israel in a bad light.
Lokits says that the project is so big that they need a much bigger number of volunteers, including data collectors, content moderators, and content creators.
Now “Words Of Iron” Has Fallen
According to Activist and TikToker Your Favorite Guy, ‘Words Of Iron’ has become ‘unusable.’ He asked users to visit ‘Words Of Iron’ and completely flip the system on its head by reversing the script and having users report Israeli posts and boost Palestinian posts. Their site was shut down for an entire day, which was considered a success.
He also mentioned how there’s now another site like that of ‘Words Of Iron,’ which he plans to investigate and see a way to make it unusable. His followers cheered him, thanking him for his efforts, with some even calling him a future leader.
The instability of the site gives a semblance of hope that maybe one day the censorship will eventually stop, but with more and more similar websites and applications created by Israeli supporters, it may not be ending anytime soon.