Israel’s Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan is an angry man these days. On a television show recently, he blamed Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) for the murder of a 13 year old girl by a Palestinian, dubbing the social media service a monster for its failure to remove anti-Israel posts on the platform.
Facebook has refuted the allegations.
The Minister was specifically referring to the incitement to violence on the network that has seen Palestinians carry out attacks on Israeli citizens, like the one in which a Palestinian attacker sneaked into a house in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank and killed a sleeping 13 year old girl.
Meanwhile, Palestinians and Israelis continue to die on the street
The demand reminds us of the vandalism done by Rotem Gez, an Israeli political activist to the company’s headquarters in 2015. He had sprayed graffiti on the building denouncing Facebook for its policies which he considered inimical to Israel’s interests.
Since October 2015, more than 34 Israelis have died in street attacks. At the same time, Israeli forces have shot and killed 201 Palestinians of whom 137 were attackers, claims Israel.
Israel claims that this violence is being fomented on Facebook. So the country has reached out to the social network to ban and remove such content from its website. The government is currently in the process of drafting a law that would require Facebook, YouTube and other social media organizations to remove content that could incite terrorism and violence.
It is clear that the Minister is not too happy with how Facebook is determining what constitutes abusive content. He called on Israeli citizens to flood Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s account with messages demanding that he heighten monitoring on the network.
Minister accuses Facebook of hampering Israel’s law enforcement efforts
The Minister has also accused Facebook of sabotaging efforts by Israeli law enforcement authorities. He said the social network was not cooperating when it was approached for information by the police. He said that Facebook had a high bar for removing hateful content and posts.
Facebook disputed the statements made by the minister and said that the company has stringent procedures in place to flag hateful content on the network. It said that the company was working on a consistent basis with law enforcement organizations and policy makers across the world, including Israel to make its network safe for users and that it strongly condemned content that promoted violence and terrorism.