In an email sent Wednesday afternoon to the Haym Salomon Center, Facebook rescinded its initial decision that a page that incited hatred and violence against Israelis met “community standards.”
“As you may have noticed, we have now taken down both those pages as we made a mistake earlier,” a Facebook spokesperson explained in the email.
The two referenced pages are “Stop Palestinians” and “Stop Israelis.” Both pages were set up by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center as a test to determine how much hateful and violent incitement is tolerated on the social media website. The civil rights group was also monitoring how quickly the pages would be taken down.
Pro-Israel activists on FB have long complained that they are subject to discriminatory policies, whereby expressions of support for Israel are penalized as "violating community standards" while the most vile examples of anti-Semitic propaganda and incitement are allowed to stand.
The anti-Israel page that FB belatedly took down was part of a sting operation set up by Shurat ha-Din.
Facebook's "mistake" could prove costly.
“Unfortunately we do not believe it was a simple ‘mistake’ as Israelis and Jews worldwide have been relentlessly protesting that Facebook is completely unresponsive to this type of Palestinian incitement to violence,” said Shurat HaDin founder and Israeli attorney, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. “Two months ago we filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of over 20,000 Israeli citizens, seeking an injunction against Facebook for “intentionally disregarding the widespread incitement and calls for murder of Jews being posted on its web pages by Palestinians. This simple experiment and its results speak for themselves.”