My personal Facebook (FB) site has been blocked twice, both times because I’m a moderator on another FB site, the Global Secular Humanist Movement (GSHM; do “like” it if you want), which was also blocked at the same time. And both times the blocking followed complaints that we “violated community standards”, almost certainly because some of the posts on the GSHM site criticized Islam.
Yet, as I’ve posted before, there are many anti-Israeli sites that persist on Facebook—indeed, sites that are so viciously anti-Israeli that their content verges on—if not constitutes—anti-Semitism. I’ve posted on this before, with some examples, and I’ll give just one here, from the still-extant FB site Death to America & Israel:
Note the German word “Juden” (“Jews”). This is exactly the kind of cartoon that appeared in Nazi propaganda, and is still purveyed by state media throughout the Middle East.
I mean, seriously: what does this have to do with Israel? Rather, it’s anti-Semitism of the classic type, portraying Jews as venal, hook-nosed demons running every powerful institution and lucrative industry. These sites don’t get taken down, and I wonder why. Is it that the “offended” (Jews, most likely, but really it should be everyone) don’t complain, or because their complaints aren’t taken seriously in contrast to those by offended people who object to criticism of Islam?
To parse this out, the Israel Law Center simultaneously created two FB sites in December: “Stop Palestinians” and “Stop Israelis”. And they put up equally inciting and divisive posts on both sites, ratcheting up the hatred with successive posts.
They then reported both sites to Facebook. What happened? One site was closed for “violating community standards,” and the other wasn’t, as FB decided it was not violating community standards.
Can you guess which one was blocked? That’s a no-brainer, and I bet you’d put up a big sum of money on your choice. And you’d be right. Here’s a video showing what was done and some of the posts. (The anti-Israel/Jewish site is still open.)
Now some may object that this experiment was done by a Jewish group, and you can go ahead and object on that basis, but I’d prefer that you discuss the content and actions, not the group that conducted the experiment. That’s simply irrelevant.
It’s been clear for some time that Facebook has a double standard: they crack down on bias or criticism of Islam or Palestine, but don’t do so on criticism of Israel or Jews. That cannot stand. They should either block both types of sites, or let them both stand.
As a free-speech advocate, I prefer that they’d keep both types of sites open so long as they don’t promote immediate violence and murder, which is illegal. (I’d put recruitment for ISIS in the illegal class.) But it’s sheer bias, if not bigotry, for Facebook to use this double standard. They really should look closer at the groups they use to adjudicate “community standards.”