BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Israel thinks Facebook is not doing enough to filter violent or hateful content, directed at the state. Gilad Erdan, Public Security Minister has described Facebook as “a monster”, during a televised interview on Saturday.
Facebook defended its policies of moderating comments, releasing a statement pointing out that it works closely with Israel to curb abusive or hateful content. The company did not directly answer Erdan’s comments.
Israel has been the scene of many street attacks with Palestinian authors in recent months. Since October, thirty-four Israelis and two Americans have lost their lives in Palestinian attacks. Israeli forces have killed at least 201 attackers.
The government of Israel believes that much of the violence was encouraged indirectly by Facebook, and has called the site to act more proactively on hateful content. A 19 year-old Palestinian, killer of an Israeli girl, praised terrorists using social media, before the attack , expressing his wish to die as a martyr, Haaretz reports.
Speaking for Channel 2 of Israel, Erdan accused Facebook of “sabotage”. He felt Facebook wasn’t helping police to curb violence in the West Bank, and that Facebook has too high of a bar for removing offensive or hateful posts or comments.
The minister went on to say that while Facebook brought a great revolution to the world, now the social media network has become a “monster”, “ever since the rise of Daesh”. He called on Israelis to boycott Facebook with demands for more extensive monitoring.
In a press release to Reuters, Facebook encouraged people to report violent content that breeches standards, so each case can be examined thoroughly.
Israeli politicians want companies to remove posts which incite to terrorism, without users having to flag each post individually. Facebook and other major companies were put under pressure by EU and US Governments to crack down on terrorist propaganda, following recent attacks in Europe and the US.
Jillian York, director for freedom of expression said that companies shouldn’t be pressured to act as censors. She went on to say that such companies don’t have the authority to decide who is or isn’t involved with hateful content and terrorism.
It was only last month that a father of a Paris attack victim sued Facebook because it allowed terrorists to recruit using the social media platform.
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