Protests Force Facebook to Pull Down Inciting ‘Intifada’ Page
Pro-Israel protests work. An Israeli Cabinet minister, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a massive e-mail campaign have succeeded in pressuring Facebook into removing the "third Intifada" page, which clearly promotes violence against Jews in Israel.
The popular social networking site pulled down the page less than 24 hours after it said the page expressed a “culture” and that Facebook would only “monitor” it without banning it.
Facebook has not commented, but the page no longer is available on the web, although similar inciting pages already have appeared in its place.
Facebook officially prohibits posting content that is "hateful, threatening, or incites violence."
However, a company statement said on Monday that while the “third Intifada” page “may be upsetting for someone, criticism of a certain culture, country, religion, lifestyle, or political ideology, for example -- that alone is not a reason to remove the discussion.”
The company added it does not take down pages simply because they “speak out against countries, religions, political entities, or idea.” The company statement did not refer to the inciting material on the offending Intifada page.
Although the page is written almost entirely in Arabic, a display ad in big English letters posted on the page warns, “If Facebook Blocked This Page... All Muslims Will Boycott Facebook For Ever!”
The page also includes inflammatory language that calls for supporters to build on the previous two murderous previous intifadas in which Arab terrorists killed and wounded thousands of Israeli civilians.
Yuli Edelstein, Israel's Minister of Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs last week wrote Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO that the site has "great potential to rally the masses around good causes, and we are all thankful for that. However, such potential comes hand in hand with the ability to cause great harm, such as in the case of the wild incitement displayed" on the Third Palestinian Intifada page.
After the page was no longer available on Tuesday, ADL director Abraham Foxman commented, "By taking this action, Facebook has now recognized an important standard to be applied when evaluating issues of non-compliance with its terms of service involving distinctions between incitement to violence and legitimate calls for collective expressions of opinion and action. We hope that they will continue to vigilantly monitor their pages for other groups that call for violence or terrorism against Jews and Israel."