Facebook says it successfully removes 99% of posts by ISIS, al-Qaeda

Speaking at an international terror conference, AG Mandelblit explained how Israel tried to balance between national security and human rights in a major 2016 terrorism law it passed.

June 13, 2018 17:35
1 minute read.
A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him

A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him. (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)


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Nearly 100% of social media posts by al-Qaeda and ISIS are removed by Facebook before users report them, the social media giant’s global counterterrorism chief Erin Saltman said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an international conference in Jerusalem on terrorism organized by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Saltman said that in the first quarter of 2018, Facebook had removed 1.9 million terrorist-related posts.

In addition, she said that through a joint database between Facebook, YouTube and Microsoft, the companies have removed 80,000 visual images and videos from their platforms.

Earlier at the same conference, Attorney- General Avichai Mandelblit said that the Justice Ministry’s Cyber Department got social media platforms to take down over 10,000 posts by terrorists or supporting terrorism in 2017.

Mandelblit was explaining how Israel tried to balance between national security and human rights in a major 2016 terrorism law it passed.

He said that an “especially difficult issue we dealt with was how to structure our response to acts of incitement to terrorism.... This is difficult due to its implications for free speech.”

Elaborating, he said, “The phenomenon of incitement to terrorism and radicalization is especially common through social media and the Internet and poses a serious challenge to democratic states.”

The attorney-general stated that “it was decided that speech which is directly intended to result in an act of terror is an offense by itself.

However, speech which does not call out for acts of terrorism directly, but supports and glorifies them, is considered an offense only if there is a real possibility that such expression of support will result in terrorism.

“In any case, any indictment for such an offense must be approved by the attorney-general of Israel himself,” he added.

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