Facebook backpedals: removes Third Palestinian Intifada Page against Israel

Facebook backpedals: removes Third Palestinian Intifada Page against Israel

Summary: Although Facebook previously said it wouldn't remove a Page calling for a Third Palestinian Intifada against Israel, it has now done so after discussions degraded into violence and hate.

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Facebook recently said that it would not remove the Facebook Page titled Third Palestinian Intifada, which openly advocates another uprising against the citizens of Israel. The company has changed its mind, however, and has pulled the Page after it was Liked by more than 350,000 users of the social network.

Intifada refers to an uprising by Palestinian Arabs (in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) against Israel. Although they start off as non-violent, they never end that way. The First Intifada (1987 to 1993) had a death toll of 2,162 Palestinians and 164 Israelis. The Second Intifada (2000 to 2005) had a death toll of 5,513 Palestinians, 1,115 Israelis, and 64 foreigners.

The Third Palestinian Intifada called for 1 million supporters to join forces in an uprising against Israel after Friday prayers on May 15, 2011. Israel recently asked Facebook to take down the Page in question, but the company refused and said it would simply monitor it. The postings got out of hand, however, and the Page was pulled today.

Here is Facebook's new statement:

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.

Here is Facebook's previous statement:

While some kinds of comments and content may be upsetting for someone — criticism of a certain culture, country, religion, lifestyle, or political ideology, for example — that alone is not a reason to remove the discussion. We strongly believe that Facebook users have the ability to express their opinions, and we don't typically take down content, groups or Pages that speak out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas.

Copycat Facebook Pages have already sprung up all over the site, but none of them have hundreds of thousands of supporters – just hundreds. Some would argue that Facebook has started a cat-and-mouse game, but for this particular issue, it looks to me like it has chopped off the snake's head, although the body is still writhing.

Facebook is becoming increasingly involved in political conflicts, especially in the Middle East (Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya come to mind). As the social network tries to enforce its Terms of Service, it has to constantly try to strike a balance between protecting freedom of expression and defending against hate speech.

Topics: Collaboration, Hardware, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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7 comments
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  • Gee who would've thought a Palestinian Intifada page would devolve into

    hate and violence? Is Facebook management all a bunch of squish for brains left wing ultra liberal head in the sand types? These are the people who teach their children from the time they're babies that killing jews and americans is the greatest thing they could aspire to. They sing childrens songs about it. Clue for next time Facebook, if Iran puts up a 12th Imam, coming caliphate page you can go ahead and take that down too and save yourselves another dose of this sort of enbarassment...
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Facebook backpedals: removes Third Palestinian Intifada Page against Israel

      @Johnny Vegas
      I see that Fox has done an admirable job of killing off any critical thinking brain cells that might've been present between your two ears.
      MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
    • Look at the other side

      @Johnny Vegas
      Facebook had just gave them another reason to hate jews and americans.
      asdacap
    • Gee another ..... ...

      @Johnny Vegas

      I guess you need to go and read some facts beside FOX or CNN or any American or Jews news network before you make your silly comment.
      And for facebook to say "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" why they didn't remove pages for which called for strikes and take down leaders in the arab world which led to violence and death of hundreds and maybe thousands of people, typical hypocratic US corp.
      fadihu
  • RE: Facebook backpedals: removes Third Palestinian Intifada Page against Israel

    Why is it when I click on the link Third Palestinian Intifada it goes to my facebook page?
    myshewa
    • RE: Facebook backpedals: removes Third Palestinian Intifada Page against Israel

      @myshewa

      Because the page was removed...
      Empro
  • Palestinian Opensource programmer

    As any one in this world , we as Palestinians need to live in peace , but what if your house and your land occupied ? You think every day how you will reach your work place , your university or school or your house ? The mood of the Israeli soldiers ?<br>I am a programmer , I Love Open Source Softwares , live in Westbank , as every programmer who dream to found a software company ...<br>We are HUMAN , we need safe , peace , education and yes , the FREEDOM its all about it !
    ps-shox