Israeli lawsuits prompt Facebook to enable reporting incitement

“Facebook believes it is allowed to make billions of dollars in profits every year without any obligation to demonstrate responsibility, supervise and remove content calling for the murder of Jews worldwide,” attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner argues.

The Brooklyn District Court on Wednesday began hearing arguments in the case of two federal suits against social media giant Facebook, filed by an Israeli advocacy group.

The Shurat Hadin Israeli Law Center filed the billion-dollar suit in October 2015 on behalf of American victims of Hamas terrorist attacks and 20,000 Israeli plaintiffs, over claims that Facebook facilitates incitement against Israelis and encouragement to harm them.

The organization is also asking the court in New York to issue an injunction against Facebook to remove the inciting pages, monitor the methods of incitement and block them, and hold the social networking giant responsible for allowing terrorists on its network.

According to the plaintiffs, Facebook knowingly provides sources of support for terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, which violates American anti-terrorism laws.

Shortly before the hearing began on Wednesday, Facebook provided its users with the option of reporting inciting content and organizations involved in “terror or organized crime.”

The two suits were submitted by attorney Robert J. Tolchin and Shurat Hadin’s chairwoman, attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner.

“Facebook believes it is allowed to make billions of dollars in profits every year without any obligation to demonstrate responsibility, supervise and remove content calling for the murder of Jews worldwide,” Darshan-Leitner said.

“The defendants invested huge sums in developing technologies which would enable them to know every detail about their users, yet they refuse to use the very same technologies to stop the incitement to violence against Jews. Facebook has become a weapon of Hamas in its efforts to encourage terror and therefore this must be stopped by using legal means,” she said.

Zionist Union MK Revital Swid‎ has also presented Facebook with a similar request to curb incitement against Israelis.

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