Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has over 1.5 billion users. And with such great power, comes great responsibility, in ensuring people using the system aren’t promoting abusive, hateful or violent messages. But some people believe Facebook is skirting that responsibility, including Israel’s government, whose officials have been throwing harsh criticism at the social giant.
According to a report from Reuters, Facebook is finding itself under increasing pressure in Israel. After continued fighting and terrorist attacks in the region, Israel’s authorities are scrambling to investigate suspects and those deemed to be a threat. But Facebook is “sabotaging” Israeli police efforts, according to the country’s Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan.
Erdan went on to call Facebook “a monster” for not removing posts that Israeli law enforcement deemed incendiary or dangerous from the social network. According to Erdan, out of 74 reported extremist posts, Facebook only removed 24 after it found them to be infringing on its policies.
What’s worse, said Erdan, is that Facebook doesn’t recognize Israel’s authority in the West Bank, where Palestinians are trying to form a state, and as such does not comply with their law enforcement requests for that region.
Israel’s right-wing government is currently drafting a law that would allow it to force social networks to remove posts it deems to be dangerous or extremist.
For its part, Facebook says it is complying with requests and working with the Israeli government closely to ensure that users abide by the company’s policies and local legislation. Facebook also reiterated in a public statement that it relies on its users to report abusive content.
This isn’t the first time that social networks in general, and Facebook in particular, have come under pressure from authorities. The Russian regime has continuously pressured and warned Facebook of possible bans if the company doesn’t comply with the government’s “anti-terrorist” laws. Meanwhile, social and internet companies have seen lots of criticism regarding the use of their networks by the likes of ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Recently, Facebook moved to start automatically removing extremist posts and videos from its network.