Facebook’s Israeli HQ was vandalized last night after the company refused to take down pages that users had flagged as offensive, reports Arutz Sheva.
The graffiti, which features a giant red hand and the words, “Blood on your hands” and “Stop_FB_Terror” was the work of Rotem Gez, a political activist who claimed responsibility for the work on Israeli TV this morning.
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“I decided to go out and campaign against them to make it clear our blood is on their hands,” he told Channel 2.
“We decided to do this because you can’t write anything on Facebook’s Wall (on the site), so we transferred the protest to the company’s physical wall, outside the network.”
This isn’t the first run-in Gez has had with Facebook. In 2011 he attempted to change his name to Mark Zuckerberg after the company sent him two cease and desist letters for selling likes to advertisers.
The news comes after the Israel Law Center says it plans to file a class-action lawsuit against Facebook for “incitement and encouragement of violence against Israelis.”
“This is much more than just sharing anti-Israel song lyrics set to Eyal Golan music and anti-Semitic cartoons. This incitement consists of the Facebook pages of many young Palestinians who inflame their friends to embark on terrorist attacks, provocative videos glorifying and encouraging terrorist attacks, instructions for terrorists “How to Carry out a Terrorist Attack” – all on Facebook,” the group said in a statement.
The statement references key incidents in which Palestinians broadcast their intentions on the social network before attacking Israelis. Mohannad Habbi, a 19-year-old Palestinian talked of a holy war before stabbing and murdering two Israelis earlier this month.
Two further reports have suggested social media is serving as the main source of incitement for ongoing violence in Israel, which has escalated in recent weeks.
Several hashtags such as “The Intifada Has Started,” “The Third Intifada,” “The Jerusalem Intifada,” “The Knife Intifada,” “Poison the Knife before You Stab,” and “Slaughtering the Jews,” were launched recently in social media in Arabic to spread propaganda praising and encouraging attacks, says the Jerusalem Post.
When we reached out to Facebook for comment, a spokesperson replied,
“We want people to feel safe when using Facebook. There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on Facebook. As a community of nearly 1.5 billion people, we have a set of Community Standards to help people understand what is allowed on Facebook, and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our standards so we can investigate and take swift action.”
Since publishing we’ve received information from people based in Israel who have posts removed on account of violating Facebook’s terms of service.
Which begs the question, are Facebook beginning to editorialise their decision making process when it comes to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine?
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