Facebook removed a page on its social networking site Tuesday that called for a
third intifada against Israel, after the site’s monitors said administrators of
the page were found to be participating in calls for violence.
Arabic-language page had attracted over 330,000 fans since it went online and
issued a call for a mass march into Israel from neighboring
urges Facebook to remove 'Third Intifada' page
Edelstein calls on Facebook to remove Intifada
The decision to take down the page came days after Facebook
had refused to remove it, but agreed to monitor the page and remove posts that
may incite violence.
“The page, entitled ‘The Third Palestinian
Intifada,’ began as a call for peaceful protest, even though it used a term that
has been associated with violence in the past,” a Facebook spokesman told The
Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“In addition, the administrators initially
removed comments that promoted violence.
However, after the publicity of
the page, more comments deteriorated to direct calls for violence. Eventually,
the page’s creators also participated in these calls. After administrators of
the page received repeated warnings about posts that violated our policies, we
removed the page,” he added.
The spokesman went on to emphasize
Facebook’s policy to uphold freedom of speech, but said it will not tolerate
calls to violence.
“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. 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.”
The decision to remove the page was
welcomed by Israel’s Diaspora and Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein, who
had sent a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on the matter last week.
The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, also praised the
“We applaud Facebook’s willingness to continue to engage and
consider this important question, and we deeply appreciate their
responsiveness,” Foxman said in a statement.
““By taking this action,
Facebook has now recognized an important standard to be applied when evaluating
issues of non-compliance with its terms of service involving distinctions
between incitement to violence and legitimate calls for collective expressions
of opinion and action.”
Foxman added that he hoped Facebook “continues to
vigilantly monitor their pages for other groups that call for violence or
terrorism against Jews and Israel.”
Since going viral, the page carried
posts such as “Prepare: Death comes to you, O raider of this
Additionally, the page’s administrators posted a quotation of a
Hadith (Islamic tradition) that is popular with radical groups, which reads,
“The hour [of redemption] does not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and
even the stones and trees say, ‘O Muslim, a Jew is behind me, so kill him,’”
according to the SITE website, which monitors jihadi Internet activity.
number of Facebook pages called “Third intifada” could still be found on the
network on Tuesday evening, though they had only a small number of fans.