Facebook page supporting Palestinian intifada pulled down


March 29, 2011|By Kevin Flower, CNN
The Israeli government said it asked for the Facebook page to be pulled because it incited violence against Jews.

A controversial Facebook page calling for another Palestinian intifada has been pulled off the social media website, following complaints from the Israeli government that it incited violence against Jews.

A statement from Facebook said the group page entitled the "Third Palestinian Intifada" -- which had garnered more than 350,000 "likes" over the course of the past month -- was removed from the website because it contained direct calls for violence.

"The page... began as a call for peaceful protest, even though it used a term that has been associated with violence in the past. In addition, the administrators initially removed comments that promoted violence," the company statement said. "However, after the publicity of the page, more comments deteriorated to direct calls for violence. Eventually, the administrators also participated in these calls. After administrators of the page received repeated warnings about posts that violated our policies, we removed the page.


"We continue to believe that people on Facebook should be able to express their opinions, and we don't typically take down content that speaks out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas. However, we monitor pages that are reported to us and when they degrade to direct calls for violence or expressions of hate -- as occurred in this case -- we have and will continue to take them down," Facebook said.

A few other identically named pages have popped up since then, some with the same messages the previous page had.

The page's removal follows heavy criticism from the Israeli government and pro-Israel organizations that Facebook was ignoring its own terms-of-service guidelines, which prohibit the posting of content that is "hateful, threatening, or... incites violence."

Yuli Edelstein, Israel's minister of public diplomacy and diaspora affairs, said Tuesday in a statement that the removal of the page showed that "Facebook management understood that the page is a blunt abuse of freedom of speech to incite to violent actions."

The Anti-Defamation League also praised the move.

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