MK Amit Halevy
MK Amit Halevy Miri Shimonovich

MK Amit Halevy (Likud) has tabled a bill which would for the first time define a social network in Israel.

Under this bill, titled "Social Media Responsibility for Content Published on its Platforms," networks that meet this definition, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok, will be able to choose between two options.

The first option is to be defined as a social network that does not interfere in content which is posted on its platform. Such a network would be prohibited hiding, deleting or censoring the content published in it without the publisher's permission, except in cases where the law requires or if a court in Israel or a foreign court ordered it to do so. It will also not be able to restrict, block or delete existing accounts.

The second option is to be defined as a social network that does interfere in content which is posted on its platform. Such a network will be obligated publish a clear, egalitarian and transparent policy regarding the removal of content on its platform. The social network will have to present to the user affected by censorship the reason for its intervention and will be required to operate a system that will provide a solution to users who wish to appeal against the hiding of posts within only 48 hours.

A user who is harmed by the company's intervention will be able, as in any other engagement, to sue the social network. In addition, according to MK Amit Halevy's bill, an 'interfering; social network that exceeds the criteria it has set will be subject to a claim by the user in the amount of up to NIS 25,000 even without proof of damage.

According to the bill's initiator, MK Amit Halevy, "The law was placed on the Knesset table to regulate, for the first time in Israel, the activities of social networks. Despite their enormous impact on our lives in every public, personal, economic and commercial sense, there is currently no protection for users and customers."

"The new law I submitted will not allow the tech giants to continue to grab the rope from both ends - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok and others will have to decide whether the responsibility for the publications lies solely with the users, in which case they will not operate through censorship and account blocking mechanisms, or if they will interfere and then they are committed to availability and transparent rules, in their intervention and in the appeal of decisions and of course in being exposed to users' lawsuits," he added.

Halevy noted, "President Trump recently signed a presidential decree in this very spirit and he is awaiting Senate approval. I hope that this 'Trump plan' will be approved by the Knesset with wall-to-wall consent, even before the Senate approves it."