Facebook And Israel Officially Announce Collaboration To Censor Social Media Content

censorship-2-0By Whitney Webb

Following Facebook’s censorship controversy over a world famous photograph of the Vietnam War, Facebook has agreed to “work together” with Israel’s government to censor content Israeli officials deem to be improper. Facebook officially announced the “cooperative” arrangement after a meeting took place between Israeli government ministers and top Facebook officials on September 11th. The Israeli government’s frenzied push to monitor and censor Facebook content it deems inappropriate follows the viral success of BDS, or Boycott, Divest, Sanctions, a global non-violent movement that works to expose Israeli human rights violations.

The success of BDS has struck a nerve with Israel, leading its government to pass legislation allowing it to spy on and deport foreign activists operating within Israel and Palestine. Israel has also threatened the lives of BDS supporters and has lobbied for legislative measures against BDS around the world. They are now seeking to curtail any further BDS success by directly controlling the content of Facebook users.

However, Facebook’s formal acknowledgement of its relationship with Israel’s government is only the latest step in an accord that has been in the works for months. In June of this year, Facebook’s Israel office hired Jordana Cutler as head of policy and communications. Cutler is a longtime adviser to Netanyahu and, before her recent hire at Facebook, was Chief of Staff at the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC. Facebook may have been intimidated into the arrangement by Gilad Erdan, Israeli Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs, and Information, who threatened to enact legislation, in Israel and abroad, that would place responsibility on Facebook for attacks “incited” by its social media content. Erdan has previously said that Facebook “has a responsibility to monitor is platform and remove content.”

In addition, as the Intercept reported in June, Israel actively reviews the content of Palestinian Facebook posts and has even arrested some Palestinians for posts on the social media site. They then forward the requests for censorship to Facebook, who accepts the requests 95% of the time.

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idfrevengefbphotoAn Israeli Soldier with “Revenge” written across his chest took to Facebook to incite retaliation against Palestinians after 3 Israeli teenagers were killed. His post was not censored by Facebook and was praised by the Times of Israel.

In what is an obvious and troubling disparity, Facebook posts inciting violence against Palestinians are surprisingly common and Facebook rarely censors these posts. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Glenn Greenwald, this disparity underscores “the severe dangers of having our public discourse overtaken, regulated, and controlled by a tiny number of unaccountable teach giants.”

With Facebook arguably functioning as the most dominant force in journalism, its control over the flow of information is significant. The fact that a private company with such enormous influence has partnered with a government to censor its opponents is an undeniable step towards social media fascism. Though social media was once heralded as a revolutionary opportunity to allow regular people to share information globally and to politically organize for grassroots change, allowing governments to censor their opposition threatens to transform it into something else entirely.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

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Top Image Credit – www.wb7.hk

  • Edward Huguenin

    Let’s see; I think we need to worry more about this rabidly xenophobic, apartheid, serially ethnic cleansing, self-proclaimed democracy with nuclear weapons, what’s not to love about Israel?

    • Zaphod Braden

      You forgot …………. Their monotheistic ONE & ONLY god is a WAR god.

      Deuteronomy 7:16, 20:16 “And thou shalt consume all the peoples which the Lord thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them…thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth.”

  • Johnny Jones

    Again, Israel puts itself in the spot light forcing the world to have another reason to increase movements like the BDS.

  • Valerie Woodard

    People still use Facebook? Between the endless selfies and negative propaganda memes it’s not fun.

    • Observing All

      Idiots do.

    • JichaelMackson

      I’m sure that’s not the point.

  • Louis Charles

    “With Facebook arguably functioning as the most dominant force in journalism, its control over the flow of information is significant.” Not for long… You saw what happened in the early days of YouTube when they attempted to employ heave-handed cencorship

  • BARBQPIG

    I’m sorry, but I thought they both were the same already?

  • Paul Mitchell

    So, we see the results of Mark’s and the U.S. securities industry conference in China last year with Chinese Internet and security officials (western corporations wanted to be taught by the masters). Now they are truly all in the family.

  • Zaphod Braden

    FACEBOOK is a PLACE OF PUBLIC GATHERING.
    FACEBOOK is a PUBLIC SPACE therefore it has no right or legal option to censor participants. FACEBOOK is a PUBLICLY TRADED company, NOT a “private entity” and it solicits PUBLIC memberships. Just as cake bakers HAVE to bake homosexual cakes, and wedding planners HAVE to “accept” homosexual weddings, SUCKERberg has to accept opinions, videos, and pictures he does not like.
    The same applies to ALL “social media”, YOUTUBE, and search engines.
    A lowly COUNTY CLERK was jailed for refusing to “do her duty” by not issuing homosexuals marriage licenses

  • Great, more anti-Israel garbage. BDS is for low-information liberals and Muslims.

    • Doug Stevens

      ……….”By deception thou shalt do (information) war” . . . . .Ring a bell?

  • Kai D. (PeterBannings)

    What “ACTIVIST POST” shows us here is the opinion of a political sect within the left, which you could also find on any right-wing Israel hating forum. And, of course, the headline is wrong, because Facebook made “cooperations” to fight hate speech on the Internet with several states. So, “Facebook And Israel Officially Announce Collaboration To Censor Social Media Content” looks very much like some typical “Stürmer” lies.

  • Chynn Maskal

    Chynn Maskal · Israël
    si tu accepte pas l’agneau de ton Dieu, tu rompreras pour toujours
    l’alliance passé entre ton Dieu et ton Père Abraham. Je vs aiment. Ce
    n’est pas Adonaï qui te frappe mais tes manquements. souvient toi de
    1967 où tu avais l’occasion d’accomplir la volonte de ton Dieu, mais tu
    ne la pas fais. et aujourd’hui tu souffre. Reviens à tes amours à
    Jérusalem afin que s’accomplis l’alliance passé entre ton Dieu (Je Suis)
    et ton Père Abraham

  • Chynn Maskal

    Israël si tu accepte pas l’agneau de ton Dieu, tu rompreras pour toujours l’alliance passé entre ton Dieu et ton Père Abraham. Je t’aimes. Ce n’est pas Adonaï qui te frappe mais tes manquements. souvient toi de 1967 où tu avais l’occasion d’accomplir la volonte de ton Dieu, mais tu ne la pas fais. et aujourd’hui tu souffre. Reviens à tes amours à Jérusalem afin que s’accomplis l’alliance passé entre ton Dieu (Je Suis) et ton Père (Abraham). Amen

  • Chynn Maskal

    Israël écoute et retranche toi en ton cœur.
    Qui chemine avec les sages sera sage, qui fréquente les sots s’en trouvera mal.
    Je t’Aime

  • Chynn Maskal

    Israël si tu accepte pas l’agneau de ton Dieu, tu rompreras pour toujours l’alliance passé entre ton Dieu et ton Père Abraham. Je t’aimes. Ce n’est pas Adonaï qui te frappe mais tes manquements. souvient toi de 1967 où tu avais l’occasion d’accomplir la volonté de ton Dieu, mais tu ne la pas fais. et aujourd’hui tu souffre. Reviens à tes amours à Jérusalem afin que s’accomplisse l’alliance passé entre ton Dieu (Je Suis) et ton Père (Abraham). Amen

  • Chynn Maskal

    Les Juifs d’abord, puis les païens

    Israël si tu accepte pas l’agneau de ton Dieu, tu rompreras pour
    toujours l’alliance passé entre ton Dieu et ton Père Abraham. Je
    t’aimes. Ce n’est pas Adonaï qui te frappe mais tes manquements.
    Souvient toi de 1967 où tu avais l’occasion d’accomplir la volonté de
    ton Dieu, mais tu ne la pas fais. Et aujourd’hui tu souffre. Reviens à
    tes amours à Jérusalem afin que s’accomplisse l’alliance passé entre ton
    Dieu (Je Suis) et ton Père (Abraham). Amen

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