Israeli Man Sues Facebook Over Ban
Haaretz reported Tuesday that an Israeli man has been granted the right to sue Facebook in Israel via the Jerusalem District Court. The case will be heard in California where Facebook headquarters are located.
The complaint was made by Omri Weil after being suspended from using Facebook after creating a page criticizing Education Minister Shai Piron. Weil is demanding that Facebook be prevented from deleting content and blocking users without a given reason or the ability to appeal.
Facebook was notified by other users complaining that Weil was posting inappropriate content on his page. Weil is also demanding that Facebook disclose the names of those users whose complaints led to his suspicion.
This past March, when Shai Piron was running for office as education minister, Weil made a Facebook page to compile negative information about the candidate. Weil posted an assortment of pictures and comments which were subsequently taken down from Facebook for posting "forbidden" content.
One of the posts' content was a list of 12th grade female students, from apparent Sephardic origins, who attended a religious boarding school where Piron served as principal. Weil used this content to prove Piron had been guilty of racial segregation.
With all of the violations and suspensions that Facebook put Weil through, the names of the users who had reported the inappropriate content were never revealed to Weil and he was never given the opportunity to appeal to the suspensions.
That led Weil to file suit against Facebook last month in the Jerusalem District Court. Since the company has no branch in Israel, he asked the court to accept his lawsuit even though the other party is based outside Israel’s jurisdiction. He also filed suits against Facebook in the United States and in Ireland.
The court registrar, Judge Reuven Shamia, granted Weil’s request.
“The fact that the respondents allegedly removed the content posted by the plaintiff unilaterally, without giving any real reason or discussion with the plaintiff about the deleted content, raises the possibility that the respondents violated their contract with the plaintiff,” Shamia wrote.
Facebook representatives refuse to comment as the case is pending.