Israel uses Facebook to blacklist airline passengers

Maybe Julian Assange was onto something when he called Facebook an “appalling spy machine.” The social media site that is used for sharing personal tidbits of information is also used to bring groups of like-minded people together. According to the AP, someone created a group urging Palestinian supporters to travel to the West Bank through Tel Aviv and protest Israel’s control of the area.

Israeli officials found the group’s plans on Facebook and then compiled a list of roughly 300 people who were planning on participating in the protest. The government sent this list out to the various airlines and told them that the passengers would not be accepted into the country. Many of the passengers were barred from boarding flights in their home countries while those who managed to fly were diverted to a secure area of the Tel Aviv airport and quickly deported. The Israeli government claims that the protestors were planning on causing disruptions in the country, but the protestors say that they were simply on a “fact finding mission.”

We’ve all heard stories about people being fired from their jobs because of their activity on Facebook, but this is an entire government making decisions based on the social media site. This should be a constant reminder that while the Internet is great at bringing people together from across the globe, there are people watching that you might not want to share with.

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