by Jeff Dunetz
Israeli non-profit organization Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) is leading a class-action lawsuit against Facebook because it contends the site supports terrorism by refusing to remove anti-Israel hate sites per its community standards. Over 20,000 people have joined the suit. To prove its point, The Israel Law Center conducted a experiment on Facebook to prove the social media site makes extremely biased decisions regarding the hate material it allows and the hate material it removes.
As the video below explains, at the end of December 2015, Israel Law Center opened two separate hate sites on Facebook, one anti-Jewish and the other anti-Palestinian. Each post on the two pages was put up at the same time on the same day. The hate posts were similar in sentiment and language; the only difference was the target.
After a few posts, they increased the hatred and antagonism of the posts using phrases such as “blood and fire to demolish the zionist invaders” on one and “soldiers in the israeli army knows there is a need to destroy the arab enemy.” After a few days, the posts on the anti-Jewish site called for death to Jews and, on the anti-Palestinian page, the death of Arabs.
The hate posts continued to worsen until, finally, they simultaneously reported each site as hate pages to Facebook.
On the very same day as the complaints were lodged, Facebook closed the anti-Palestinian page emailing back to the “person” who complained:
“We reviewed the page you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it violates our Community Standards.”
The page inciting violence against Jews, which used the same hate terms as the anti-Palestinian one, was not closed by Facebook. This complaintant received a message stating that site calling for the death of Jews was not in violation of their rules.
Only after the Israel Law Center published the video below did Facebook change its mind. “As you may have noticed, we have now taken down both those pages as we made a mistake earlier,” a Facebook spokesperson explained in an email to the Law Center.
While the Israel Law Center project was intended to expose Facebook’s anti-Israel bias, the social media site has been accused of displaying a similar bias against conservative pages.