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Israel Angered by Facebook Hatred Rules

Government ministers in Israel have accused Facebook of failing to tackle “inciteful” posts against the country on the social network.

Public security minister Gilad Erdan said Facebook had set “a very high bar for removing inciteful content”.

Justice minister Ayelet Shaked wants social media companies to pre-emptively remove content which Israel considers to be a security threat.

Facebook said it worked closely with Israel to tackle threatening content.

Mrs Shaked has complained that threatening content must be manually reported by the website’s users before any action can be taken.

“We want the companies… to remove posts by terrorist groups and incitement to terrorism without us having to flag each individual post, in just the same manner, for example, that they today do not allow posts and pages with child pornography,” she told Israel’s Army Radio.

In a statement, Facebook said: “We have a set of community standards designed to help people understand what’s allowed on Facebook.

“We call on people to use our report tool if they find content they believe violates these rules, so that we can examine each case and take quick action.

“We work regularly with safety organisations and policymakers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make safe use of Facebook.

“There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform.”

In 2015, Facebook complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the Prophet Muhammad.

The court had threatened to block the entire website if the social media platform had refused.

At the time, Facebook said its policy was to block access to content within a country if it breaks local law.

The same year, Facebook, Google and Twitter faced pressure in Germany to remove hate speech posted on their websites.

The three internet giants agreed to assess reported posts within 24 hours, evaluating them under German law rather than Facebook’s own terms and conditions.

Facebook’s latest government transparency report said the company blocked 236 posts in Israel that were alleged to violate local harassment laws, or were related to Holocaust denial.



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