Facebook defends position on content standards after Israeli censure
Ynet, Jul 7 2016
Facebook is doing its share to remove abusive content from the social network, it said on Sunday in an apparent rejection of Israeli allegations that it was uncooperative in stemming messages that might spur Palestinian violence. Beset by a 10-month-old surge in Palestinian terror attacks, Israel says that Facebook has been used to perpetuate. The government is drafting legislation to enable it to order social media sites to remove incitement. Ramping up the pressure, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Saturday accused Facebook of “sabotaging” Israeli police efforts by not cooperating with inquiries about potential suspects in the West Bank and said they “set a very high bar for removing incitement in content and posts.” Facebook did not respond directly to Erdan’s criticism, but said in a statement that it conferred closely with Israel. It appeared to place an onus on Israeli authorities, as with any other users, to flag offensive content to Facebook monitors (This is remiss, is the implication – RB). The statement said:
We work regularly with security organizations and policy-makers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make safe use of Facebook. There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform.”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.
Erdan, who urged Israelis to “flood” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with demands for a policy change (a coded call for a DDoS attack – RB), expanded on the government’s complaint in remarks published on Sunday. He said:
Of 74 especially inciting and extremist posts Israel brought to Facebook’s attention, 24 were removed. Jurisdiction is an issue. The big problem is in Yesha, because Facebook does not recognize Israeli control there and is not prepared to turn over information.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called on social media companies to pre-emptively curb content deemed by Israel to be a security threat. She told Galei Tzahal:
We want the companies not to approve and to themselves remove posts by terrorist groups and incitement to terrorism without us having to flag each individual post, in just the same manner, for example, that they today do not allow posts and pages with child pornography.