Facebook, Twitter close Hezbollah accounts

Twitter and Facebook have closed the accounts of the Lebanese terrorist organization, but new ones were opened. 

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Hezbollah’s main accounts on social media sites Twitter and Facebook were unceremoniously shut down on Saturday.

The terrorist group immediately complained about the move on another media site, Telegram, claiming that it was done because of the “important role” these accounts play in the activities of their organization.

The shutdown took place a day after Hezbollah uploaded footage on its Twitter account that showed Hezbollah blowing up an IDF patrol in 2006 on the Lebanese border – the incident which sparked the Second Lebanon War.

Israel has asked Twitter and Facebook to remove Hezbollah’s accounts numerous times. In 2012, Facebook removed pages created by Hezbollah over its incitement to violence, and at the end of 2017 the company acquiesced again (but not Twitter).

Yet the Islamic terror group has succeeded time and again in simply opening new accounts. Even now its viewers were immediately directed to other pages the organization has on the sites.

Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan hopes that this time the ban will be permanent.

“I hope that Facebook and Twitter will stick to the decision, which should have been implemented long ago,” he tweeted. “To allow terrorist organizations and their leaders to manage accounts and disseminate messages on Internet companies’ platforms is simply assisting the activities of declared terrorist organizations.”

Their next target should be the terrorists who rule the Gaza Strip, he added, saying that “the companies must apply this to Hamas as well.”

Erdan wrote to Twitter’s CEO two weeks ago, threatening the social media platform with legal action if it did not remove accounts that were obviously linked to terrorist organizations such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah.

In April 2017, a bill he had sponsored that would allow Israeli courts to order the removal of online incitement passed its first reading of the Knesset, but the procedure to make it law has not been completed.

In general, the Justice Ministry made over 12,000 requests last year alone to various social media platforms to remove content that was supporting or inciting to terrorism or violence, with the posts being removed 85 percent of the time.