Shalom Life | August 08, 2015

Facebook Profiles Featuring 'Death to the Jews' will be Removed

After complaints from the Knesset, Facebook will take down the anti-Semitic profiles

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: July 16th, 2015 in Business » World

Facebook Profiles Featuring 'Death to the Jews' will be Removed

After a recent observation that many Arabs in Israel were adding the phrase 'Death to the Jews' in their Facebook profiles, Facebook has agreed to assist the Israel Internet Association in taking down their profiles.

After learning of the new phenomenon, Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein wrote to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's head of policy in Europe and the Middle East, Richard Allen, asking both executives to use "all the tools at the disposal of Facebook in order to put an end to these pages."

Edelstein added that he was "appalled" at these "acts of incitement" and said that while the "Jewish part of Israeli society at times finds itself in disagreement with members of the Arab public… in the heat of the moment, we must keep to the point and respect human dignity."

Head of the Center for Safe Internet Orna Heilinger, a part of the Israel Internet Association, believes that Facebook's decision to take down these profiles does not constitute a change in Facebook's policy, but instead ensures an expedient response to the incitement of hatred.

Currently, reporting a person's name as offensive is not an option on Facebook, and reported violations of Facebook's policy often have long waiting periods before action is taken to remedy the situation.

"[The Center for Safe Internet] turned to Facebook in an official capacity, we alerted them to the phenomenon, and we asked for their intervention," Heilinger explained. The center will be reporting all profiles they can find, and encourage others who have seen one of these profiles to report them to the center by taking a screenshot of the profile, and emailing it to the center.

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