Israel’s police minister is accusing Facebook of complicity in Palestinian violence against Israel after back-to-back attacks. These attacks claimed the lives of a father of 10 who was killed in a drive-by shooting and a 13-year old who was stabbed to death in her bed. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the social media giant sabotages police efforts and turns down requests for collaboration, according to Bloomberg.
Facebook fails to police hate speech
Erdan said that many young Palestinians incite violence against Israelis on the social networking site, and it fails to remove such posts.
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In an interview with Channel 2 late Saturday, Erdan said, “The victims’ blood is partially on Facebook’s hands.”
He added that the social media giant has “turned into a monster.”
“The younger generation in the Palestinian Authority runs its entire discourse of incitement and lies and finally goes out to commit murderous acts on Facebook’s platform,” the minister said.
Since last fall, a series of “lone wolf” attacks by Palestinians on Israelis have been fuelled by posts on social media calling for murder and glorify attacks, says the Israeli government. Since October, about three dozen Israelis and more than 200 Palestinians, most of whom were involved in clashes with Israeli troops and attackers, have been killed.
In response, a Facebook spokeswoman said the tech giant works regularly with policy makers and safety organizations around the world, including Israel, to ensure that users know how to use the platform safely.
“There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform,” she said.
Simple algorithm could help
Facebook could easily block videos inciting murder by using a simple algorithm, Naftali Bennett, Education Minister and a former high-tech entrepreneur for Israel Radio, told Bloomberg on Sunday. Israel’s inner security cabinet discussed blocking social networks in the Hebron area, where two deadly attacks took place within two hours last week.
Facebook has struggled to police images posted by online weapons bazaars and terrorist groups. Last month, a French Jewish youth group sued Facebook, Google and Twitter over how they control hate speech on the Web. In addition, governments from all around the world are calling on the three companies to assist in the fight against terrorism.
Meanwhile, the U.S. firm has won praise for its “Safety Check” feature, which allows users to tell family and friends that they are safe after natural disasters or bombings.