Facebook is one of several social media sites to face criticism over a perceived lack of action when it comes to fighting online extremism. Now, the Israeli government has gone so far as to call the social network a “monster” for not doing enough to remove posts that incite violence against the country.
During a television interview on Saturday, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that Facebook was “sabotaging” the nation’s police force by not aiding it in investigating potential suspects in the West Bank.
Erdan said Mark Zuckerberg was partly to blame for the murders of and 13-year-old Hallel Ariel and Michael Mark. Ariel’s killer, 19-year-old Muhammad Tarayreh, said he wished to die a “martyr’s death” in a Facebook post made before the murder.
“Facebook today, which brought an amazing, positive revolution to the world, sadly, we see this since the rise of ISIS and the wave of terror, it has simply become a monster,” said the minister. “It also sets a very high bar for removing inciteful content and posts.”
Erdan urged Israelis to “flood” Zuckerberg with demands that he do more to remove content that could incite violence. “If other media outlets were to demonstrate how to murder Jews, they would have been closed immediately,” he said.
In response, Facebook gave the following statement to Reuters.
We work regularly with safety organizations and policymakers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make safe use of Facebook. There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform.
Last month, Facebook was once again accused of not taking enough action when it comes to removing hate speech from its platform. The father of a US student killed in the Paris attacks is suing the company, along with Google and Twitter, for providing “material support” to ISIS and other extremist groups.
In January, Tamara Fields filed a lawsuit claiming Twitter should hold some responsibility over the death of her US contractor husband who was killed in a Jordan shooting. She says the microblogging site’s failure to remove ISIS propaganda is a violation of US anti-terrorist law.