Facebook said Sunday that it’s doing its best to remove abusive content from its site, defending its stance in the face of allegations from Israeli officials that the social networking website is “sabotaging” Israeli police efforts in stemming Palestinian violence.
Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan reportedly accused Facebook of being uncooperative when approached by Israeli police regarding investigations of potential suspects in the West Bank region.
“Facebook today, which brought an amazing, positive revolution to the world, sadly, we see this since the rise of Daesh [Islamic State group] and the wave of terror, it has simply become a monster,” Erdan said Saturday in an interview with local news network, Channel 2 television.
Facebook did not respond directly to the criticism but reportedly released a statement saying that it worked closely with countries, including Israel, in matters of security.
“We work regularly with safety organizations and policymakers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make safe use of Facebook. There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform,” the California-based company said.
“We have a set of community standards designed to help people understand what's allowed on Facebook, and we call on people to use our report if they find content they believe violates these rules, so that we can examine each case and take quick action,” it added.
Erdan urged Israelis to flood Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with demands for a policy change. He expanded on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist government’s ideas of drafting legislation that will enable the government order social media sites to remove postings deemed threatening.
According to Erdan, of 74 “especially inciting and extremist posts” Israel had brought to Facebook's notice, only 24 were removed. He added that the issue seemed to be jurisdiction.
“The big problem is in Judea and Samaria [West Bank], because Facebook does not recognize Israeli control there and is not prepared to turn over information,” Erdan reportedly said. Israel captured the West Bank — where the Palestinians seek statehood — in the Six-Day war in 1967.