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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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Israel planned for Lebanon war months in advance, PM says
  • Olmert's leaked testimony contradicts earlier remarks 
  • Criticism from inquiry may force resignation

Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv
Friday March 9, 2007
The Guardian

Preparations for Israel's war in Lebanon last summer were drawn up at least four months before two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah in July, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, has admitted.

His submission to a commission of inquiry, leaked yesterday, contradicted the impression at the time that Israel was provoked into a battle for which it was ill-prepared. Mr Olmert told the Winograd commission, a panel of judges charged with investigating Israel's perceived defeat in the 34-day war, that he first discussed the possibility of war in January and asked to see military plans in March.

According to the Ha'aretz daily, which obtained details of Mr Olmert's testimony, the prime minister chose a plan featuring air attacks on Lebanon and a limited ground operation that would be implemented following a Hizbullah abduction. Hizbullah had made several attempts to capture Israeli soldiers on the border since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli commentators believed that Mr Olmert and Amir Peretz, the defence minister, took the opportunity of the kidnapping to show they could manage a war in spite of their limited military experience. But the outcome of the war seemed to highlight their lack of experience and also deficiencies in Israel's military planning.

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