Facebook and the Third Intifada Page: An Update

Further update: This CNN article is essential reading, particularly this quote (emphasis is mine):

“The page… began as a call for peaceful protest, even though it used a term that has been associated with violence in the past. In addition, the administrators initially removed comments that promoted violence,” the company statement said. “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.”

Original post:

It appears that today, Facebook has removed a page calling for a Third Intifada; unfortunately, the page is not the same one I referred to in my previous post (that one, and several others, remain online), and so I am unable to comment on the actual contents of the page. Haaretz reports that the Page contained the following vile statement: “Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews”. If this is true, its removal was justified; but there are still questions to be asked:

1) Was it the Page admins calling for violence or a member of the Page (if the latter, the member should be deactivated, not the Page) and

2) Was it an actual call to incite violence (update: in this case it appears to have been; in other cases, this is a question to ask)? If so, removing the Page is justified. If not, it isn’t.

That said, I do have another concern here. In numerous occasions, including this one, I’ve spotted Pages and Groups on Facebook set up with a single purpose in mind: to identify and report users whom members disagree with. In this case, there remains a group called “Join the effort to delete the group Third Palestinian Intifada” (I should note that it appears the page has been taken over from its original purpose at this point).

I’ve seen situations like this before, and occasionally, they’ve been moderately effective: Last year, a friend in Morocco, who identifies as an atheist, had his account deactivated for unknown reasons. Later, we found that a group had intentionally been set up for reporting–specifically–Arab atheists. In the content of the group, I found that users had specifically called for members to report people for using pseudonyms, knowing that it’s difficult to appeal if one’s account is deleted for that reason.

On the other hand, there are Facebook Pages, such as this one, set up for reporting genuine hate speech. As far as I can tell, they’re not encouraging abuse of the system; but knowing how Facebook’s systems work, is intentionally seeking out content to report abusive behavior? Or is it justified?

Now, I will say this: It is entirely possible that the group I didn’t see was promoting violence. And if it was, I believe its removal was justified, by sheer definition of Facebook’s TOS. It is unfortunately unclear, and will probably remain so, as Facebook is not wont to comment on specific cases.

7 replies on “Facebook and the Third Intifada Page: An Update”

Sahih Muslim, second in authenticity only to Sahih Bukhari, relates in book 40, number 6985 that Mohammed said: “The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: `Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him’; but the tree Gharkad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.”

I can’t decide if you’re willingly deluding yourself or if you are utterly ignorant of Islam.

Neither, Samira. I didn’t see the page, so I’m going on hearsay alone. I’m aware of the quote’s origins.

Are you going to try and tell me that that’s direct incitement? It refers to the end of times. So, horrific as it is, I don’t see why you think it shouldn’t be protected under the First Amendment in the same way that other horrific statements (including plenty from the Old Testament) are.

Your comparison is disingenuous. No Christian or Jew takes the Old Testament literally. However, Muslims who publicly argue that the Quran and the Hadith should not be taken literally are threatened, beaten or killed. That’s how large the difference is!

Can I invoke the First Amendment when posting a comment on a notice board? Or when a newspaper refuses to publish my op-ed? No! It’s not clear either way whether the hadith is incitement to hatred or not. Those issues are settled in a court of law – not by you or me. Facebook took down the page because its bottomline might be affected by the impeding JDL suit.

People who use Facebook are, generally speaking, dumb. People who don’t realize Facebook is a totalitarian entity which couldn’t care less about anybody’s freedoms are even dumber. I’m sure you’re neither because I know you, but it’s not apparent from this post.

This “third intifada” crap is not about Israel or Palestine. It’s serves the interests of neither – especially not the Palestinians. It’s a spillover from the muffled civil war that’s been raging throughout the Arab world for decades where Islamists fight secularists and vice versa. Make no mistake about it! Stop by any book expo in the Arab world…and you’ll see how the Protocols of Elders of Zion sell like hotcakes.

Thank you so much for your kind note! I remember you winning (I was there too, to represent Talk Morocco) and wished I could read Spanish better to understand all of your blog!

Thank you again :)


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