Post supporting terrorism on Facebook
Post supporting terrorism on FacebookFacebook

The cyber department of the Israeli Prosecution Service has reported that since the start of the current wave of terrorist attacks in which 16 Israelis were murdered, there has been an intensive effort made to have contend defined as incitement removed from social media and to have accounts that regularly post incitement shut down. This includes posts praising terrorists and terrorist acts and calling for more murders.

"Our efforts are aimed at reducing the quantity of incitement on the web, content that is likely to inflame tensions and lead to further escalation," the department said in a statement.

Security agencies have identified an increase in the amount of content defined as containing incitement following the terrorist attack in Beer Sheva and a sharp increase in such content following the attacks in Hadera, Bnei Brak, and Tel Aviv.

Since the start of the current wave of terrorism, the cyber department has reported on over 14 thousand posts on social media that have been flagged by the IDF and the Shabak as problematic. The cyber department then assessed the posts and submitted requests to the various social media companies to have over 10 thousand such posts dealt with. These were all posts that both violated Israeli law and breached the terms of use and service of the platforms on which they appeared - and of which it could be said that it is in the public's interest to have the posts removed.

7,700 complaints were ultimately submitted. 5,438 requests were submitted to have content removed, and 4,186 of these requests were honored. TikTok dealt with 2,339 requests for content removal and agreed to remove 1,600 of the problematic posts. Twitter received 1,534 requests for content removal and agreed to remove just 434.

Among the problematic content were posts defined as containing incitement to violence and to terrorist attacks, including specific calls for stabbings, ramming attacks, shooting attacks, and murders. Other posts mocked those murdered and called for more people to be killed.

Other posts praised terrorists for their actions, calling them heroes and blessing them. Others were accompanied by video clips showing people handing out candies following terrorist attacks and celebrating the deaths of Jews.

One post, for example, put up immediately after the terrorist attack in Beer Sheva, expressed the wish that more than four people should die, along with a hope that Israel would be weakened. The poster also put up a picture of the terrorist along with words of praise for his deeds.

Similar posts have been noted following the terrorist attack in Ariel this past Shabbat.

Other action taken by the Israeli cyber department has included blocking access to various internet sites which promote fanning the flames of violence on the Temple Mount issue - these sites are mostly operated by Hamas. One organization's Facebook page has now been removed - an extremely popular page with over 900 thousand followers.

"On the basis of information received from security sources, these activities have helped to undermine the ability of terrorist organizations to orchestrate violent clashes and to ignite riots on the Temple Mount," the cyber department noted.