Israeli ministers approve bill seeking to fight incitement on social media

 

 

A post from the Palestinian Fatah political party's Facebook page shows children holding rifles, providing an example of anti-Israel incitement on social media. Credit: Palestinian Media Watch.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved Sunday a bill aimed at combating online incitement. The bill is expected to be presented for a Knesset vote in the coming days.

The proposal, dubbed the “Facebook bill,” was authored by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. It seeks to allow the Israeli State Attorney's Office to motion the Administrative Court to order social media websites like Facebook or search engines like Google, to remove content that incites violence and terrorism.

Such court orders would be issued in cases when the content promotes criminal offenses or poses an actual threat to an individual or a group's safety.

Shaked noted that the Cyber Division at the Israeli Attorney General's Office is working to remove inciting content from the Internet. More than 1,750 such motions have been submitted to Facebook so far, 71 percent of which were approved, she said.

"Today the government has stated clearly that incitement will be met with decisive action and removed from the Internet," Shaked said. "Human lives are at stake."

Facebook said in a statement, "We spare no effort to keep people safe. Facebook has zero tolerance for terrorists, the glorification of their actions and incitement to violence in the real world. We hope the implications this bill may have on Israeli democracy, freedom of speech and open Internet will be carefully considered."

Posted on December 26, 2016 .