Israel

20,000 Israelis Sue Facebook for Failing to Block Pages Inciting Palestinian Terror

20,000 Israelis have filed a lawsuit calling on Facebook to block Palestinian pages that incite violence against Jews, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

The civil complaint filed late on Sunday but announced only on Monday, seeks an injunction to require Facebook to block all racist incitement and calls for violence against Jews in Israel, but no damages.

A 76-page list of plaintiffs contend that “Facebook’s refusal to remove the flood of extremist videos, statements and cartoons being posted by Palestinians is encouraging imminent violence and fanning the flames of the terrorist attacks that have overwhelmed Israel in the past month.” […]

“Many of these murderers were motivated to commit their heinous crimes by incitement to murder they read on Facebook – demagogues and leaders exhorting their followers to ‘slaughter the Jews,’ and offering instruction as to the best manner to do so, including even “anatomical charts showing the best places to stab a human being.”

The suit was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by attorneys Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center (ILC), Robert Tolchin, American counsel for ILC, and Asher Perlin. The suit “claims that Facebook has a legal and moral obligation to monitor and restrict racist incitement and calls to violence against Jews.” While the lawsuit acknowledges that Facebook has taken action to limit “extreme calls for murder,” it notes that this content has only been removed in reaction to user complaints.

The suit further argues that Facebook isn’t simply a passive bulletin board as it has sophisticated algorithms that can detect content that promotes violence.

The New York Post, which also reported on the lawsuit, quoted Tolchin as saying, “Facebook connects the whole world, and they need to be sensitive that their algorithms are spanning decades of hatred and murder, and connecting people who are not only interested in malicious activities, but are actually going through with these activities. Facebook needs to be sensitive to that, especially when it’s a call to murder.”

The Jerusalem Post reports that the lead plaintiff in the case was Richard Lakin, a retired American principal and grandfather of eight who moved to Israel over 30 years ago. Lakin, who was critically injured two weeks ago in a terror attack on a bus in Jerusalem, died today.

According to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Magen David Adom emergency medical service reports that 11 people have been killed and 126 injured, 13 seriously, in the recent wave of Palestinian terror. The IDF reported 46 stabbings, 4 shootings, and 5 car ramming attacks between October 1-26.

[Photo: infolivetvenglish / YouTube ]