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Journalists urge A-G, Facebook to fight incitement

CM 21/05/2021

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The Union of Journalists and the Israel Democracy Institute called on Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and Facebook to fight incitement against journalists on Facebook and WhatsApp in a letter on Thursday.

The bodies called for those inciting violence to be found and blocked and for the inciteful material to be removed. They also called for influencers and politicians spreading incitement to have their accounts restricted.
The union and IDI additionally demanded that a 24-hour emergency hotline be opened to handle requests for content to be removed and groups closed.
“Verbal threats have become actions and journalists have found themselves physically attacked by groups of violent rioters who have apparently adopted the false and provocative narrative that exists on the internet,” read the letter.
“We see a direct link between videos, interviews of senior politicians and opinion leaders linking journalists to terrorist organizations or other enemies of the State of Israel, and physical attacks against journalists. This is one chain of cause and effect,” added the letter.
An additional letter was sent to Mandelblit and the director of the Cyber Department at the State Attorney’s Office, Dr. Haim Wismonsky, demanding that they work with social networks to prevent the distribution of inciteful content.
During Operation Guardian of the Walls, journalists received numerous threats of violence, with some reporters receiving security details due to the threats. One chain message that was circulated last week called for rioters to go to news studios and violently attack journalists.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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