Facebook team will guide Israeli parties through election policies

A special Facebook team will inform Israeli politicians on posting guidelines ahead of the April elections. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Facebook will set up a special team “in preparation for the upcoming Israeli elections, Calcalist’s CTech website reports.

According to CTech, Facebook’s team will guide Israeli parties and politicians “through the company’s policies surrounding elections.”

In August, company executives from the social media giant began “official talks with Israel’s parliamentary Elections Committee.” Facebook will warn Israeli politicians about the rules involving fake accounts or posting spam. Politicians who break the guidelines face the possibility of being blocked.

CTech mentions the example of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, who was blocked for a 24-hour period in December for posts that violated Facebook policies.

In December, Yair Netanyahu posted:

“Left-wing NGOs funded by foreign and hostile governments, the politicians on the left and media people who always side with the enemy and always against Jewish interests, whose hearts are hardened against victims of terror, settlers or victims of infiltrators, and on the other hand whose hearts are full of compassion for every Arab rioter wounded on the Gaza border – they are the traitors!”

Last week, Israel Security Services (or “Shin Bet”) Chief Nadav Argaman said a foreign power would try to influence Israel’s elections though censors blocked the name of the foreign entity. Speculation in the press centered at first Russia.

Russia dismissed the accusations and the Russian Embassy in Israel tweeted: “Keep calm and blame Russia or Russian hackers.”

Facebook was subject to criticism and congressional scrutiny in 2017 after its failure to detect Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

According to a July report in The New York Times, “It took Facebook executives months to acknowledge the extent of the Russian operation” and the company lost $120 billion in market value in connection with that scandal and related ones.

Facebook has since stepped up efforts to thwart fake accounts and the misuse of data on its platform.