Gilad Erdan, Public Security Minister of Israel, has labeled Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) a “monster”, accusing the company of incompetency in regulating the content on its online platform.
According to Erdan, Facebook is to be held responsible for the murder of a 13-year-old girl in the town of Kiryat Arba, who was stabbed to death by the 17-year-old Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah. Prior to the murder, Tarayrah revealed his plans on Facebook through a number of posts. This incident outraged the Israeli government, believing that the social networking company should have been keen in taking down abusive content that sparked further violence.
Meanwhile, Facebook has denied the allegations of lack of cooperation, saying that it is closely working with the Israeli government to help law enforcement prevent further terrorist attacks and killings. In its statement, the social networking giant reiterated that its policies and standards allow no room on its platform for anything that promotes threats and hate speech.
Furthermore, Facebook has also reportedly ditched its previous takedown algorithms of relying on users’ reports of abusive content and profiles. Reports say that for a more efficient procedure, the company has already employed an automated process when it comes to removing content. Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is also said to have changed its content removal algorithms in a similar way.
Israel vs. Social Media
Prior to Erdan’s remarks, the Israeli government had already taken a stance against social media platforms such as Twitter, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWTR) and YouTube, claiming that they serve as avenues to encourage violence against Israel.
Due to the recent attacks, Israel’s parliament is reportedly working on a law that would mandate social networking companies to take down online content that may ignite terrorism and result in loss of human lives. This law may have severe repercussions for Facebook operations in the country and opponents say it could easily be abused to shut down freedom of speech on the network.