Bella Hadid Says Instagram Removed 'Proud Palestinian' Post: 'Can't Erase History by Silencing People'
"Are we not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram? This, to me, is bullying," the model wrote after she claimed a post about her dad Mohamed was removed
On Tuesday, the 23-year-old model claimed that the social media platform flagged and took down a post she made on her Instagram Story that showed her father Mohamed Hadid's American passport. Bella said the original post read "My baba And his birthplace of Palestine" and featured a photo of her dad's U.S. passport.
Bella shared a screenshot that appeared to show the alert she received from Instagram about her July 2 post. The message said the removal was "because it goes against our Community Guidelines on harassment or bullying," and cited notices of "graphic violence; hate speech, harassment and bullying; and nudity and sexual activity."
"@instagram exactly what part of me being proud of my fathers birth place of Palestine is 'bullying, harassment, graphic, or sexual nudity'?" Bella wrote with the screen grab.
"Are we not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram? This, to me, is bullying," she continued. "You can't erase history by silencing people. It Doesn't work like that."
Bella also posted her 71-year-old father's throwback documentation from 1988. With it, she wrote, "Do you want him to change his birthplace for you?"
In a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Facebook company, which owns Instagram, explained why the post was initially removed, and apologized for taking it down after further looking into the matter. The representative clarified that the platform does not remove content based on users' nationality or ethnicity, and that the post was not removed because of a reference to Palestine.
"To protect the privacy of our community, we don't allow people to post personal information, such as passport numbers, on Instagram. In this case the passport number was blurred out, so this content shouldn't have been removed," read the statement. "We've restored the content and apologize to Bella for the mistake."
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In another Instagram Story, the model encouraged her followers to post about their family and be proud of their ancestry.
"I am proud to be Palestinian ❤️," she wrote. "Everyone should post where their mother and fathers were born today! Remind them how proud you are of where you come from !!!"
On Father's Day last month, Bella posted a series of sweet photos of her real estate developer dad to honor him. Mohamed is also dad to daughter Gigi and son Anwar (with ex Yolanda Hadid) and daughters Alana and Marielle (from a previous relationship).
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"Happy Father’s Day Baba," she wrote at the time. "You make me laugh more than anyone in the world! Thank you for my big sisters and baby brother. We love you💚 @mohamedhadid"
In 2017, Bella opened up to Harper's Bazaar Arabia about her father's journey to the United States, comparing his experiences to today's immigration struggles.
"My dad was a refugee. He came from Palestine to America when he was a baby," she said at the time. "Thankfully, he was able to come, but it was very hard and now it’s probably 100 times harder. It makes me sad that power is getting taken from a lot of people and they’re not able to make a new life for their children and their families. It’s crazy to me that one person can tell you whether or not you can have a better life."