Home » commentary » Is Facebook Selectively Enforcing its ‘Community Standards’ Regarding Advocacy of Violence?

Is Facebook Selectively Enforcing its ‘Community Standards’ Regarding Advocacy of Violence?


Maybe we should start calling it “two-Facedbook”. Yesterday I put up a brief post concerning a Facebook page calling for the death of Palestinians, along with a link to an article on it at the Electronic Intifada.

The page calls for the murder of Palestinians, at the rate of one every hour, until three missing Israeli teens are located. Since I posted the article yesterday, the page in question has gained 548 additional “likes,” up from 19,443–with the total now standing at 19,991.

By openly advocating violence, you would think such a site would be in violation of some sort of Facebook policy or regulation on what’s acceptable, or not acceptable, in terms of content. However, according to Haaretz, the social media site has rejected a request to take the page down. But in 2011, when a page was put up calling for a third intifada and advocating violence against Jews, Facebook did take action and deleted the site. (H/T Brenda).

A comment posted anonymously here this afternoon makes the point that the current page on Facebook specifies that “terrorists should be shot. Not any arab (sic).” But this is more than a bit disingenuous. What parties are entrusted with determining who is and who isn’t a terrorist, and how is it possible to make such a determination when you are killing people at the rate of one per hour? Moreover, Israelis use the word “terrorist” rather loosely, to say the least. Is a child who throws a rock at an Israeli soldier a terrorist? There are many Israelis no doubt who would say yes. And indeed human rights groups have slammed Israel repeatedly (see here, here, and here) over its abuse of Palestinian children in detention, children who  seem to be regarded a terrorists, or at least future terrorists, by their jailers.

Also, the bothersome business of discriminating between “terrorists” and “non-terrorists” could also just as easily be done away with if some Israelis get their way. The article at Electronic Intifada translates one comment, posted in Hebrew, as follows: “A friend suggested this idea: each hour that passes and the boys (may god protect them) are not released, we destroy a neighborhood in Hebron, and after we’re done with Hebron, we move to Ramallah then to Gaza, etc.” Apparently the idea is simply to let “god” sort’em out. Another commenter, posting in English, says he hopes Palestinians in the Gaza Strip “get cancer” and “die with agony.”

So this is the kind of depravity on display. Just for the record, here is what Facebook says regarding “violence and threats” in its page outlining its “community standards.”

Safety is Facebook’s top priority. We remove content and may escalate to law enforcement when we perceive a genuine risk of physical harm, or a direct threat to public safety. You may not credibly threaten others, or organize acts of real-world violence. Organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on our site. We also prohibit promoting, planning or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism.


Facebook Rejects Request to Pull ‘Shoot a Terrorist’ Page

Page calling for killing Palestinian terrorists ‘every hour’ until abducted Israeli teens return has over 18,000 likes

Haaretz | June 16, 2014

Facebook administrators rejected a request made by an Israeli journalist to take down a popular new Facebook page in Hebrew entitled “Until the boys return – shoot a terrorist every hour.”

The page, set up in reaction to Thursday night’s kidnapping of three Israel teenagers in the West Bank, quickly garnered attention, with over 18,000 “likes” as of Tuesday. It directs public vengefulness at convicted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons in the wake of the kidnapping.

“They should put poison in their cake, let them die, may their names and memories be erased! Death to terrorists!!!!!” reads one comment.

“How bad, how bad I want to shoot you all in the head, ahhhhhh. What a dream, I hope in this life I’ll have the chance to murder an Arab leftist or Israeli leftist,” read another.

The page has also attracted a lot of backlash.

“Kill a Zionist every second,” wrote one dissenter.

“Fuck you, you vile human garbage,” was another response.

Also mentioned on the page is the call by former Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari to hold public hangings of terrorists. Saying the government wants the public to devote itself to prayers rather than demands for action, Ben-Ari writes, “I prefer that the main prayer gatherings be held in destroyed mosques.”


Facebook Removes Page Calling for a ‘Third Palestinian Intifada’

In the original page, Palestinians are urged to take to the streets after Friday prayers on May 15 and begin an uprising in the vein of the first two popular uprisings

Haaretz | March 29, 2011

The Facebook page calling for a third Palestinian intifada was taken down on Tuesday, after widespread calls for it to be removed.

On the original page, Palestinians are urged  to take to the streets after Friday prayers on May 15 and begin an uprising in the vein of the first two popular uprisings. “Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews,” reads the call. The page had more than 340,000 fans.

Although the page was removed, a new page already exists in its place with the same name of “Third Palestinian Intifada.”

The Anti Defamation League had filed an official complaint against Facebook for allowing the page to remain up.

In addition, Minister Yuli Edelstein wrote a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, warning that the page includes calls to kill Jews and to liberate Jerusalem through violence.

The page incites to violence and violates Facebook content regulations, wrote Edelstein.

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said about the page “We should not be so naïve to believe that a campaign for a ‘Third Intifada’ does not portend renewed violence, especially in the current climate that has seen a dramatic increase in rocket attacks from Gaza, the brutal murder of the Fogel family in the West Bank, and a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem.”

Facebook has not released an official response to the Israeli government’s request or the ADL statement.

One thought on “Is Facebook Selectively Enforcing its ‘Community Standards’ Regarding Advocacy of Violence?

  1. Jews believe among the reasons for the creation of Israel is to be the beacon of rightness among nations. I can see that beacon clearly.

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