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Wiesenthal Center: “Intifada” FACEBOOK Page Part of Much Larger Online Problem

March 29, 2011

After worldwide protests and ongoing discussions with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, FACEBOOK has removed “The Third Palestinian Intifada.”

“The Center wishes to applaud online activists for their efforts in this matter,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the SWC, who heads up the Jewish human rights group’s trailblazing Digital Terrorism and Hate project. “We also acknowledge FACEBOOK’s responsiveness to the serious issues raised about this and other problematic pages,” said Cooper. “It goes without saying, that this page is part of a much larger problem and challenge of online bigotry,” he added, noting that next week, Center officials will present the findings of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Digital Terrorism and Hate 2011 Report: The Power of Social Networking in the Digital Age at FACEBOOK headquarters in Silicon Valley. It is based on 14,000 problematic hate and terror websites, forums, newsgroups, and social media.

FACEBOOK’S STATEMENT:

The Page, "The Third Palestinian Intifada," began as a call for peaceful protest, even though it used a term that has been associated with violence in the past. In addition, the administrators initially removed comments that promoted violence. However, after the publicity of the Page, more comments deteriorated to direct calls for violence.

Eventually, the administrators also participated in these calls. After administrators of the page received repeated warnings about posts that violated our policies, we removed the Page.

We continue to believe that people on Facebook should be able to express their opinions, and we don’t typically take down content that speaks out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas. However, we monitor Pages that are reported to us, and when they degrade to direct calls for violence or expressions of hate - as occurred in this case – we have and will continue to take them down.

For further information, please contact the Center’s Public Relations department at 310.553.9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter
, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.