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Facebook Removes “Third Palestinian Intifada” Page

Facebook has shut down a fanpage titled “Third Palestinian Intifada,” which called for Palestinians to take up arms against Israel. Specifically, it attempted to inspire Palestinians to begin an uprising on May 15, and before its removal the page had over 350,000 fans. Facebook at first seemed hesitant to shut the page down, and cited their support of freedom of expression.

The page began as a call for peaceful protest, however after the page gained publicity the comments became increasingly violent. Facebook’s content regulations prohibits material that directs “hateful or violent content directed at an individual or group.” After it’s removal, several pages have been created, however none have obtained the momentum of the original.

Both Israeli legislators and Jewish advocacy groups requested the removal, and afterwards commended Facebook for their actions.

A spokesperson for Facebook said, “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.”

This issue spotlights the challenge Facebook and other social networking sites have, regarding freedom of speech. The view from the spokesperson above show that Facebook is aware of it’s impact on political movements, especially after seeing its effect on the protests in Egypt, Libya, and else where.

When do you think Facebook (or Twitter, or YouTube) has a right to remove content?

Photo Courtesy of Looking4Poetry
Photo Courtesy of Looking4Poetry