Israeli students sent reports to Facebook complaining against the Shehab News Agency page, with its 2.7 million likes, which shares Hamas’ ideology, posting nonstop anti-Semitic and inciting content depicted in cartoons containing graphic violence.
By Itamar Eichner
Facebook removed on Tuesday the page of Hamas’ news agency Shehab, after Israeli students who are a part of a program to fight anti-Semitism reported the page.
The students made several complaints to Facebook over the past year, including an official request to examine the activity of the news page, which shares Hamas’ ideology.
Ido Daniel, who runs the Students Union’s project to combating anti-Semitism online, said: “The page is known to be affiliated with Hamas. The page played an inseparable role in fanning the flames and inciting among Palestinians, encouraging terrorism and vehicular attacks and spreading severe anti-Semitic propaganda with calls to murder Israelis.”
“The Palestinian cartoons that became well-known in recent months got such exposure because they were posted all the time, on a daily basis, on that Facebook page,” he added.
In the wake of the Israeli complaints against the page, Facebook first removed the page’s “verified” status, a status given only to official pages of celebrities, government ministries, politicians and commercial companies.
Gideon Bachar, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Combating Anti-Semitism, said Israel “welcomes Facebook’s decision to remove Hamas’ anti-Semitic news page, which served as stage for incitement to murder and violence against Jews and the citizens of Israel.
“This is an important step because the internet and especially social media are a central platform nowadays in which ideas of violence against Jews and anti-Semitism are being promoted.
“We hope that other social media, search engines and other internet-based media follow suit and act systematically to remove content of hatred, anti-Semitism and racism, including content calling for incitement and even violence.”
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