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Home arrow Lies My Media Told Me arrow Facebook Is Collaborating With the Israeli Government to Determine What Should Be Censored
Facebook Is Collaborating With the Israeli Government to Determine What Should Be Censored PDF Print E-mail
Sep 12, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Last week, a major censorship controversy erupted when Facebook began deleting all posts containing the iconic photograph of the Vietnamese Napalm Girl on the ground that it violated the company's ban on child nudity. Facebook even deleted a post from the prime minister of Norway, who posted the photograph in protest of the censorship. As outrage spread, Facebook ultimately reversed itself acknowledging the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time but this episode illustrated many of the dangers I've previously highlighted in having private tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google become the arbiters of what we can and cannot see.

Having just resolved that censorship effort, Facebook seems to be vigorously courting another. The Associated Press reports today from Jerusalem that the Israeli government and Facebook have agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on the social media network. These meetings are taking place as the government pushes ahead with legislative steps meant to force social networks to rein in content that Israel says incites violence. In other words, Israel is about to legislatively force Facebook to censor content deemed by Israeli officials to be improper, and Facebook appears eager to appease those threats by working directly with the Israeli government to determine what content should be censored.

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Blood and Champagne
EVERY PEOPLE elevate the profession in which they excel.

If a person in the street were asked to name the area of enterprise in which we Israelis excel, his answer would probably be: Hi-Tech. And indeed, in this area we have recorded some impressive achievements. It seems as if hardly a day passes without an Israeli start-up company that was born in a garage being sold for hundreds of millions. Little Israel is one of the major hi-tech powers in the world.

But the profession in which Israel is not only one of the biggest, but the unchallenged Numero Uno is: liquidations.

This week this was proven once again. The Hebrew verb "lekhassel" - liquidate - in all its grammatical forms, currently dominates our public discourse. Respected professors debate with academic solemnity when to "liquidate" and whom. Used generals discuss with professional zeal the technicalities of "liquidation", its rules and methods. Shrewd politicians compete with each other about the number and status of the candidates for "liquidation".

INDEED, FOR a long time now there has not been such an orgy of jubilation and self-congratulation in the Israeli media as there was this week. Every reporter, every commentator, every political hack, every transient celeb interviewed on TV, on the radio and in the newspapers, was radiant with pride. We have done it! We have succeeded! We have "liquidated" Imad Mughniyeh!

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