Suggested last December as the "Incitement on Social Media Bill", Israeli lawmakers prepare to pass a new bill called by the public the "Facebook bill", which will give the Israeli government more access to controlling content shown online.
According to the yet-to-be passed law, Israeli authorities will be given the right to remove content from social media platforms, under the pretext of protecting the public, especially since the draft cites efforts to "only target content that could cause harm or can be perceived as incitement".
Using "secret" evidence, the Israeli general attorney will be able to not only remove content off networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram but also block access to news websites that go against the Israeli official narrative. Content creators will not have the right to defend themselves under the new bill, as it gives the Israeli general attorney more power in terms of controlling online content.
However, many internet experts have been expressing fears over the new law's ability to grant Israeli officials access to block any unwanted content from reaching the public.
Israel taking page from Russia— Frank Johnson (@FjWorkmagic) July 14, 2022
It’s bill is similar to Russia bill passed early this year killing journalism
Freedoms everywhere are being attacked by those in power Israel’s Facebook Bill: An attack on Palestinian free speech - The New Arab https://t.co/DpJ1OPMumC
According to online commentators, not only does this bill threaten political pluralism and democracy in Israel, but it also threatens to silence Palestinian voices that report human rights violations inside of Israel as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as Israel can control their internet networks.
The Institute for Middle East Understanding IMEU has reported that Facebook encourages Israel's efforts to block unwanted political content shared on its platform by "approving 90%of post removal requests from the Israeli government".
"States of Journalism: @NadimNashif explains how the draconian Facebook Bill, which will give the Israeli government the power to censor content on all websites, will further infringe on the rights of Palestinians to critique Israel’s crimes."https://t.co/3pcaExShOZ@the_newarab pic.twitter.com/oW8909r4o8— Ahmed Abofoul (@AhmedAbofoul) July 15, 2022
During the May 2021 Israeli military offensive against Gaza, Palestinians reported massive online campaign against content they posted to show the damage caused by Israeli airstrikes on the Palestinian strip and accused Silicone Valley's social media platforms of bias to Israel by preventing content that did not comply with Israeli policies.
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