Facebook Bill: Israeli Govt to Remove ‘Unwanted’ News Posts From Social Media

Published July 20th, 2022 - 09:15 GMT
Facebook Bill: Israeli Govt to Remove ‘Unwanted’ FB News Posts
(Shutterstock - Edited by Albawaba)

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".

Facebook Bill

Source: Twitter

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.

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".

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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