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Israeli media to Facebook, Twitter: Reign in incitement at journalists

CM 25/05/2021


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 A group of leading Israeli media outlets has sent letters to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressing deep concern about the sharp rise in threatening and dangerous content on Facebook and Twitter directed against journalists, editors and media group executives.

The companies – which include TV channels Keshet 12, Reshet 13 and channel 20; KAN 11’s News Company (the public broadcaster); the daily newspapers Globes, Yediot Aharonot, Maariv and The Jerusalem Post; the websites ynet, Walla and Mako; and radio stations 99 FM, 103 FM and 104.5 FM – demand that Zuckerberg and Dorsey take a stand against incitement on their platforms.
The group also said that it turned to the Israeli attorney-general last week, asking that the law enforcement system take online incitement very seriously in order to prevent the next act of violence.
Last week, police arrested a suspect for threatening Channel 12 reporter Dana Weiss online, and four N12 journalists have been assigned with private security details after an alarming rise in calls online to perform acts of violence upon them, some of which included explicit death threats.
During Israel’s recent military campaign against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, multiple reporters from KAN News, N12 and Channel 13 were attacked on the streets of Israel’s mixed Jewish and Arab cities.
Channel 12’s Ayala Hasson was attacked in Lod by Jewish rioters, Yoav Zehavi and a photographer for KAN were attacked in Tel Aviv and Lior Keinan, a Channel 13 reporter, was attacked at the site of rocket blast in Ramat Gan. In Jaffa, Channel 13 reporter Omri Maniv was assaulted in his car by rioters, who broke the mirrors on his car and sprayed him with pepper spray, Magen David Adom reported.
“Journalists have become a target for incitement, which has put them in a clear and present danger,” the letters to Facebook and Twitter said. “There have been countless posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter, calling for physical harm to Israeli journalists, or labelling them as traitors or enemies of the state in a manner that encourages or justifies violent actions against them. Facebook and Twitter have a public responsibility to monitor and immediately remove any posts distributed on their platforms, which encourage the physical harm of journalists. It is their responsibility to prevent incitement and inflammatory content from being distributed under the auspices of their platforms. If – or worse, when – bodily harm or loss of life occurs in connection with this incitement, Facebook and Twitter must know that in their failure to act and take a stand against the incitement, they enable, if not encourage, such violent acts.”

Facebook asserts that it is taking proper steps to combat incitement. In a statement to The Jerusalem Post last week, the social media giant, which also owns Instagram, said “We don’t want anyone to feel threatened or harassed on our apps. While we allow criticism of public figures, such as journalists, we don’t allow people to threaten or harass them, and we remove this content whenever we become aware of it. We also remove content that shares people’s personal information, and have removed several posts that showed journalists’ private phone numbers. We encourage anyone who sees harmful content on our apps to report it, so we can take action to keep our community safe.”
Separately, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir said Tuesday that he was permanently suspended by WhatsApp, along with 30 other members of his right-wing Otzma Yehudit Party, without notice and without an explanation for blocking the account.
Ben-Gvir said he intends to file a lawsuit against Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, and that he asked the communications Ministry to take action immediately on the issue.  

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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