Should Facebook take down posts calling for attacks against Israelis?
This question could be easily reworded as, “Should Facebook take down posts calling for any acts of violence?” The only reason it’s focused on the violence in Israel is because the largest use of social media to promote hatred is directed at the Jewish state and its people.
Nevertheless, we should be careful before jumping to conclusions. There’s a fine line between censorship and protection, between righteous indignation and dangerous hatred. With that said, the clear choice would be that Facebook should censor those who are calling for people to harm other people. That should rest somewhere outside the gray area of free speech, particularly on the internet and social media where voices of hatred can be easily amplified and directed towards the mentally vulnerable.
At least one organization is taking action to force Facebook to do just that.
— Jonah Elshout (@jonahelshout) November 4, 2015
The class action suit is being filed on behalf of 20,000 people which means that it will definitely get Facebook’s attention. However, they may receive too much protection to make this case stick. At the end of the day, the problem may not come down to winning or losing a lawsuit. If people’s lives can be protected by making hate speech and calls for violence taboo on the social network, so be it.