Facebook removed a hugely popular and controversial page supporting a third intifada once it saw that comments on the page had “deteriorated to direct calls for violence,” the social networking giant told the State of Israel, in a letter published Thursday.
The page, entitled Third Palestinian Intifada, had more than 340,000 fans when it was removed earlier this week.
Richard Allen, Facebook’s director of policy for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the social networking giant wrote Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein that, “Our reviewers felt that the content of the Page began as a call for peaceful protest, even though the term Intifada has been associated with violence in the past. In addition, the administrators initially removed comments that promoted violence. Under these conditions a Page of this nature would normally be permitted to remain on Facebook.
“However, after the publicity of the Page more comments deteriorated to direct calls for violence. Eventually, the administrators also participated in these calls .After administrators of the page received repeated warnings about posts that violated our policies, we removed the Page yesterday.”
The letter came in response to Edelstein’s own missive to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, in which he warned that the page included calls to kill Jews and to liberate Jerusalem through violence. The page incites to violence and violates Facebook content regulations, wrote Edelstein.
Allen also reiterated that the organization “continue[s] to believe that people on Facebook should be able to express their opinions, and we do not 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 letter also said that Facebook is aware that “copycat” pages reportedly appeared once the original page was removed, and that the Facebook will “similarly review reports related to this content and take appropriate action in accordance with our community standards.”
The original Facebook page urged Palestinians to take to the streets after Friday prayers on May 15 and begin an uprising in the vein of the first two popular uprisings. "Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews," read the call.
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