‘The new Middle East’: Jewish-Israeli exclusion of Palestinians in Facebook advertising
Previous studies have pointed to practices of disconnectivity and disengagement on Facebook, both generally (Stroud, 2010; Sunstein, 2009) and in the specific context of the Israeli society as a divided society in conflict (John and Dvir-Gvirsman, 2015; John and Gal, 2017; Gal, 2019). Our study aims to expand on these previous findings by examining practices of disconnectivity and disengagement in a different setting: among a professional group of Jewish Israeli advertisers who discuss their attempts to exclude Arab-named profiles from responding to their Facebook campaigns. The analysis focuses on a major Facebook group of social media marketing experts in Israel. This group is an open group consisting of 15,789 members, most of them Jewish-Israelis. We examined posts that were published in this group between 2013–2017 and dealt with Israeli-Arab audiences. Our findings emphasize the moral and ethical aspects of practices of disengagement and disconnectivity that — in the case studied here — help normalize and justify exclusion.