The Israeli government has called upon Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to remove social media content that the government claims is a catalyst for Palestinian violence.
Facebook and Alphabet are both collaborating with the requests and are working on removing any content that may be deemed to have an influence on Palestinian violence. The social media content includes anything on the Facebook social platform or the YouTube video platform. The collaboration might have something to do with the Israeli Justice Minister’s threat to open prosecution against companies for any content that encourages violence.
“Our main aim is for those companies to do their own monitoring of material containing incitement,” stated Ayelet Shaked after attending a meeting with officials from Facebook.
Shaked stated that the rate of compliance from the companies has been higher over the past year courtesy of the threat of legal action. The Israeli government claims that it has constantly called on the social media company to carry out more stringent monitoring and control over the content posted on the platform. Israel brought up numerous ethical and legal issues as to whether these companies should be held accountable for the content posted on the networks.
“The world now understands that (social) networks serve as a greenhouse for terrorists,” said Shaked in a speech she presented over the matter.
Shaked also pointed out that terrorist organizations such as ISIS have been using social networks to spread propaganda, fear, and negativity. She was speaking during an international counter-terrorism conference held near Tel Aviv. Facebook is yet to reveal its conclusion on the matter though a spokeswoman from the giant stated that the company has always been quick to take down content that incites violence.
Israeli interior minister Gilad Erdan together with Shaked proposed legislation seeking to force social media companies to eliminate any content that is considered to encourage vioelnce. There is also a different bill presented by the opposition and it seeks to introduce fines against these companies.