Facebook on Saturday night dismissed an Israeli government claim that its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had “some of the blood” of an Israeli terror victim on his hands, because it did not censor Palestinian incitement and hate speech.
In a Hebrew-language statement, the company asserted that it works “on a regular basis with security organizations and policy makers throughout the world, including in Israel, in order to ensure that people know how to use Facebook safely.
“There is no room on our platform for content that encourages violence, direct threats, terror or verbal abuse. We have an array of clear-cut community guidelines meant to help people understand what is permitted on Facebook, and we call on people to make use of our reporting tools if they come across content that they believe violates these guidelines, so that we can evaluate each incident and take swift action,” Facebook said.
It was responding to a top Israeli minister who called Facebook a “monster” and accused Zuckerberg of allowing Palestinian incitement to run rampant on the social network. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) also charged that Facebook hinders Israeli police efforts to catch terrorists, and declared that Zuckerberg has “some of the blood” of slain Israel teenager Hallel Yaffa Ariel on his hands.
Ariel, 13, was stabbed to death on Thursday by a Palestinian terrorist as she lay asleep in her bedroom in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba. In another terror attack Thursday, two people were stabbed in Netanya. On Friday, an Israeli man was killed and his wife and children were injured when their family car came under gunfire from a passing vehicle and overturned, south of the West Bank city of Hebron.
Israel has repeatedly blamed incitement in the Palestinian Authority for attacks that have claimed the lives of 34 Israelis since October 1, 2015. Four people with foreign nationalities have also been killed in the attacks, which have included stabbings, shootings, car-rammings and a suicide bombing.
Speaking to Channel 2 TV, Erdan called on Israelis to flood Zuckerberg with demands to clamp on down on the abuse of Facebook by terrorists and their supporters.
“Facebook, which has brought a positive revolution to the world, since the rise of Islamic State and the wave of terror, has become a monster,” charged Erdan. “The dialogue, the incitement, the lies of the young Palestinian generation are happening on the Facebook platform.”
The minister said that “to my great sorrow, some of the blood of those who have been murdered, including in the latest attacks, of Hallel,” was on Zuckerberg’s hands because of Facebook’s failure to report a series of statuses that her killer posted to the site. The terrorist, Muhammad Tarayrah, publicized his desire to die and his love of martyrdom for the Palestinian cause in a number of Facebook posts in recent months.
Erdan accused Facebook of “sabotaging the work of Israeli police” and “refusing to cooperate” when Israel Police turns to the site for assistance regarding terror threats posed by Palestinians. It also “sets a very high bar” for removing inciteful content.
“It’s time for Israelis to flood him with demands to clamp down on this platform he founded and from which he makes billions,” he said.
In its statement, Facebook said that conducted “regular dialogue” with the Israeli government regarding its content.