The Israeli government has accused Facebook of complicity in ongoing violence in the West Bank. The country’s police minister said the social media company is guilty of favoring the Palestinians against Israel after sustained attacks claimed the lives of a 13-year old and a father of 10 murdered in a drive-by shooting, reports Bloomberg.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said a lot of young Palestinians incite against Israelis on Facebook, but the social network company is yet to take any action to take down such posts. He also accused Facebook of sabotaging efforts being taken by the police in the country by turning a blind eye to requests of collaboration.
“The victims’ blood is partially on Facebook’s hands,” Erdan told Channel 2 late Saturday. “Facebook has turned into a monster. The younger generation in the Palestinian Authority runs its entire discourse of incitement and lies and finally goes out to commit murderous acts on Facebook’s platform.”
Facebook denies allegation leveled against it
In a quick reaction to the allegation of complicity levelled against it by the Israeli minister, Facebook issued a statement claiming that the social media company’s hands were clean and unbiased in the conflict between the two countries. The statement said, “Facebook works regularly with safety organizations and policy makers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make a safe use of Facebook. There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform.”
The Israeli government is angered by series of posts on Facebook being made by Palestinians against it. It claimed that the attack which began last fall, is being encouraged by posts on social networks encouraging killings and glorifying attacks.
The statement released by Facebook also drew the attention of the Israeli government to its “set of community standards,” which it claimed help to educate people to understand what is allowed within the network.
“We have a set of community standards designed to help people understand what’s allowed on Facebook, and we call on people to use our report if they find content they believe violates these rules, so that we can examine each case and take quick action,” the statement said.
Erdan’s statement, is clearly encouraging citizens of the country to pile pressure on Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg to demand for a policy shift. His statement also suggests that the problem was more of jurisdiction since Facebook does not recognize Judea and Samaria as part of cities under the control of Israel. Up to this point, only 24 of 74 “especially inciting and extremist posts” brought to the attention of Facebook have been removed, the minister said, while speaking to Yedioth Ahronoth daily.
“Facebook today sabotages, it should be known, sabotages the work of the Israeli police, because when the Israeli police approach them, and it is regarding a resident of Judea and Samaria, Facebook does not cooperate.”
Tension between the two countries heightened since 2014 after peace talks over Israel’s occupation of some territories collapsed.
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