An Israeli non-profit organization, Shurat HaDin, (Israel Law Center) recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, contending that it supports terrorism by refusing to remove anti-Israel hate sites per its “community standards.” More than 20,000 people have joined the suit.
The Israel Law Center conducted a experiment on Facebook evidencing its extremely biased decisions about the range of “hate material” it allows to be published or removed. .
It opened two separate “hate sites” on Facebook in late December– one anti-Jewish and one anti-Palestinian. On the same day, at the same time, the Center posted similar information on each page, expressing the same sentiment and language. The only difference was the target.
After a few posts, they increased the hatred and antagonism used, by including phrases like “blood and fire to demolish the zionist invaders” on one, and “soldiers in the Israeli Army know there is a need to destroy the Arab enemy.” After a few days, the posts on the anti-Jewish site called for death to Jews, and on the anti-Palestinian page, death to Arabs.
The hate posts continued to worsen until, finally, each page simultaneously reported each other as a hate page to Facebook.
On the very same day the complaints were lodged, Facebook closed the anti-Palestinian page emailing back to the “person” who complained:
“We reviewed the page you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it violates our Community Standards.”
The other page that incited violence against Jews, was not closed by Facebook. In response to its complaint, Facebook sent a message stating that that page’s call for death to Jews, did not violate their “community standards.”
Only after the Israel Law Center published the video below did Facebook change its position. “As you may have noticed, we have now taken down both those pages as we made a mistake earlier,” a Facebook spokesperson explained in an email to the Law Center.
The Israel Law Center’s project was intended to expose Facebook’s anti-Israel bias. However, the social media site has a history of appearing to evidence a similar bias against politically conservative pages that are regularly shut down or blocked from posting to groups.