Face­book fails law group’s web-hate test

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

A VIDEO has been posted on­line ap­par­ently show­ing how Face­book re­moved an anti-Pales­tinian page from its site while al­low­ing an anti-Is­raeli page to stay up.

The self-pro­claimed “big Face­book ex­per­i­ment” by Is­raeli NGO Shu­rat HaDin was cre­ated to see whether the so­cial me­dia gi­ant would treat Is­raeli and Pales­tinian pages equally.

The video, posted on Jan­uary 4, has been viewed around 40,000 times on YouTube. It shows the group set­ting up two pages — “Stop Pales­tini­ans” and “Stop Is­raelis” — which car­ried iden­ti­cal forms of in­cite­ment, such as “death to the Arabs” and “death to the Jews”.

Af­ter si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­port­ing the pages to Face­book, Shu­rat HaDin said it re­ceived a re­sponse later that day say­ing the anti-Pales­tinian page had been closed as it con­tained a “cred­i­ble threat of vi­o­lence”. How­ever, the anti-Is­raeli page was kept open un­til Jan­uary 5 — a week longer than the anti-Pales­tinian page — with the NGO stat­ing that Face- book had told them it was “not in vi­o­la­tion of Face­book’s rules.”

In its Com­mu­nity Stan­dards sec­tion, Face­book states that “or­gan­i­sa­tions and peo­ple ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing ha­tred” against peo­ple based on their race, eth­nic­ity or na­tional ori­gin “are not al­lowed a pres­ence on Face­book”.

A spokesper­son for the site said: “Face­book does not tol­er­ate hate speech, in­clud­ing against peo­ple on the ba­sis of their na­tion­al­ity. We re­view all re­ports and take down such con­tent. Both th­ese pages have now been re­moved from Face­book.”

Shu­rat HaDin’s di­rec­tor, Nit­sana Dar­shan-Leit­ner, said the ex­per­i­ment showed the com­pany’s “bi­ased at­ti­tude”. She added: “Who are the ter­ror­ists in this wave of ter­ror? They are teenagers. Where did the call to stab Jews come from? They hear it on so­cial me­dia.”

Shu­rat HaDin was one of the three groups be­hind a class-ac­tion law­suit filed against Face­book in Oc­to­ber. Around 20,000 Is­raelis sued the so­cial me­dia gi­ant over in­cite­ment posted on the site.

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