The Knesset plenum discussed on Wednesday a motion for the agenda regarding postings on social networks that incite to terrorism. ”In principle, Facebook is supposed to connect people, but unfortunately this connection often times creates expression of hatred and even incitement to murder,” said MK Merav Ben Ari (Zionist Camp).
MK Revital Swid (Zionist Camp) mentioned that ”about a year ago, when the most recent wave of terror began, I approached Simon Milner, Facebook¹s Policy Director for the UK, the Middle East and Africa, and demanded that they remove all content that incites to terror – postings that encourage people to commit acts of terror, imams in mosques calling to murder Jews, do-it-yourself videos showing how to take a knife and murder Jews – this is what I call incitement to terror. This, among other things, drives lone-wolf terrorism. He replied: `We are aware of the sensitive situation [in Israel]. Any violent content you report to us will be removed.` He did not use the word `terror,`, only `violence.` Today we know for certain that Facebook does remove content that incites to terrorism. Where? In Europe. This is a decision Facebook reached about a month ago in light of the wave of terror attacks in Europe; but not here.”
(Minister Yuval Steinitz)
MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) noted that when she turned to Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan last year and asked about online incitement, he said that the police have all the means necessary to handle it, through intelligence and by filing complaints. ”He had no problem with Facebook. When did we start having a problem with Facebook? When we began experiencing a murderous wave of terror which the government has no solutions for,” she stated.
Responding on behalf of the government, Minister Yuval Steinitz noted that after US President Barack Obama asked that Islamic State-produced content not be allowed on Facebook, the social network started removing such posts.
”When big America said ISIS content can lead to terrorism and violence, Facebook respected that and took steps to remove ISIS messages, justifiably so. So, in the same way, we must demand that content calling to murder Jews and messages from Hamas and Islamic Jihad and from individuals calling to murder Jews, who say to destroy and expel them… must be removed,” Steinitz said. ”Just as they block ISIS incitement to murder Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Americans and Europeans, so must this incitement be blocked.”
”Therefore, our demand is that those who can prevent online incitement do so. And our demand that Facebook make a greater effort to prevent postings which encourage people to murder and carry our acts of terror against Jews and the State of Israel, is justified. Proof of this is that the United States has also acted in this direction,” he told the plenum.