The old saying that words will never hurt is simply untrue, and when those words are encouraging violent acts of terrorism, they can be quite deadly. Facebook is one online forum that has been criticized for the presence of incitement, and senior representatives from the social media group are visiting Israel aiming to do better at stopping their website from being used for such words.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office, said on Sunday of the Facebook visit, “The goal here is to improve cooperation against incitement, the incitement to terror and murder, on the social network… I welcome the cooperation, or at least the desire for cooperation, that Facebook is showing, and we hope that these will lead to better results.”
Haaretz, in their report on the Facebook visit, noted that Israel has been critical of the social media website’s use for Palestinian terrorism and incitement. Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan last July blamed Facebook and the incitement therein for actual terrorism in Israel, said Haaretz, citing comments the Israeli official made to Channel 2.
The Haaretz report quoted Liat Killner, legal adviser to the Israel Police’s Lahav 433 investigations unit, as saying that cooperation with Facebook on fighting incitement is not where it could be.
The article noted that Facebook officially opposes incitement to violence on its platform and continues to work with others on addressing the issue. Still, the situation has made headlines for the wrong reasons in Israel, and now efforts are being stepped up to handle it.
Netanyahu expressed his concern about incitement online, while expressing resolve to battle against it. “The fight against terrorism is also being waged on the social networks,” said Netanyahu. “…The Internet has brought considerable blessing to humanity, but folded within it—to our regret—is also a curse, because terrorists and inciters are using the Internet to attack mankind. We are determined to fight these phenomena.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, September 11, 2016)