Lawsuit against Facebook
Lawsuit against Facebook by Shurat Hadin Law Center,
Radio interview with Yair Cohen. Facebook sued by Israeli and USA citizens over Palestinian attacks. Lawyers have filed a $1B lawsuit against Facebook, accusing it of knowingly supporting the Palestinian group Hamas. Law suit against Facebook might succeed. The law suit is filed under the USA in Anti-Terrorism Act. This is not the first case where Facebook is said to be providing “material support or resources” to terrorist organizations or to affiliates of terrorist organizations responsible for assisting in the commission of terrorist acts.
Previous similar law suits were filed against financial institutions. The law suit against Facebook follows a number of documented experiments conducted by Shurat Hadin Lawcenter, a Tel-Aviv based organisation that sets its aim to fight terrorism and safeguard Jewish rights worldwide. The organisation alleges that Facebook consistently refuses to take action to remove terrorist inciting material.
This law suit also follows a recent report by the Middle East Quartet that says Palestinians who commit terrorist attacks are often glorified publicly as “heroic martyrs.” Many widely circulated images depict individuals committing terrorist acts with slogans encouraging violence. The spreading of incitement to violence on social media has gained momentum since October 2015, and is particularly affecting the youth. Anti-Terrorism Act says victims may recover with “threefold the damages he or she sustains and the cost of the suit, including attorney’s fees.”
One of the main issues in the case is likely to be whether Facebook is much more than a neutral internet platform or a mere “publisher”. The law suit would have alleged that Facebook actively assists the inciters to find people who are interested in acting on their hateful messages by offering friend, group and event suggestions and targeting advertising based on people’s online “likes” and internet browsing history.
Additionally the law suit presumably will rely on Facebook’s refusal to take down inciting pages, claiming that they do not violate its “community standards.” Calling on people to commit crimes is not constitutionally protected speech and endangers the lives of American Jews and Israelis. The Anti-Terrorism Act, takes incitement to terrorism, or facilitating acts of terrorism outside the scope of free speech.