This week in the US, New York City's Brooklyn District Court began hearing arguments in the case of two federal suits against social media giant Facebook, filed by the Israeli advocacy group, Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center.
The first lawsuit seeks no less than $1 billion in damages on behalf of American victims of Hamas terrorist attacks. The second suit is on behalf of 20,000 Israeli plaintiffs. Both suits claim that Facebook facilitates incitement against Israelis calling on readers to harm them.
The latter suit asks the court for an injunction against Facebook, ordering it to...
...remove "pages, groups and posts" that contain "incitement to murder Jews"
...monitor for all incitement and block it; and to
..."cease serving as match-maker between terrorists, terrorist organizations, and those who incite others to commit terrorism."
According to the plaintiffs, Facebook knowingly provides sources of support for terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, which violates American anti-terrorism laws.
Shortly before the hearing began in Boston on Wednesday, 1 March, Facebook provided its users with the option of reporting inciting content and organizations involved in "terror or organized crime."
The two suits were submitted by attorney Robert J. Tolchin and Shurat Hadin's chairwoman, attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner.
"Facebook believes it is allowed to make billions of dollars in profits every year without any obligation to demonstrate responsibility, supervise and remove content calling for the murder of Jews worldwide," Darshan-Leitner said.
Facebook is perfectly able to do this, she explained.
"The defendants invested huge sums in developing technologies which would enable them to know every detail about their users, yet they refuse to use the very same technologies to stop the incitement to violence against Jews. Facebook has become a weapon of Hamas in its efforts to encourage terror and therefore this must be stopped by using legal means."