Terror victims sue Facebook for $1 billion for hosting incitement

An Israel-based human rights group has filed a $1 billion lawsuit in New York against Facebook for allowing online incitement, on behalf of five families of terror victims who were killed or wounded by Palestinian terrorists.

The families of five Americans and Israelis with US citizenship who were killed or wounded by Palestinians terrorists in Israel have filed a suit against the social media giant Facebook, claiming one billion dollars in damages over its failure to combat Palestinian support for terrorism and incitement messages posted on it.

The lawsuit was filed by the Shurat Hadin Law Center, an Israel-based human rights group, at the New York State District Court under the Anti-Terrorism Act on behalf of the five families on Monday.

“Facebook has knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas in the form of Facebook’s online social media network platform and communication services,” a press release issued by the plaintiffs said. “Hamas has used and relied on Facebook’s online social network platform and communications services as among its most important tools to facilitate and carry out its terrorist activity.”

UNRWA incitement

Palestinian incitement posted on Facebook. (Facebook)

The families filing the suit include the relatives of Taylor Force, an American Army veteran who was murdered in a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in March, the family of Menachem Mendel Rivkin who was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in Givat Zeev in January; relatives of Richard Leikin, a 76-year old man who was killed by terrorists on a bus in Jerusalem last October; the family of 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun who was murdered by a Hamas terrorist in Jerusalem in October 2014, and relatives of Yaakov Naftali Frankel, one of the three youths kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in 2014.

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‘Facebook Has Become a Monster’

Earlier this month, Israel’s Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan slammed Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg for what he said was their partial responsibility for the wave of Palestinian terror attacks, which is fanned by incitement posted on Facebook and other social media outlets.

Gilad Erdan

Minister Gilad Erdan. (Miriam Alster /Flash90)

Erdan said that “part of the blood of the murdered is on Facebook’s hands,” and demanded that the social media network take action to combat the phenomenon.

“Facebook has become a monster,” the Israeli minister charged. “The discourse of the younger [Palestinian] generation on the web, all the incitement and lies, it all occurs on this platform. I am in support of Mr. Zuckerberg conducting self monitoring.”

He further charged that Facebook was hindering efforts by Israel’s police and refuses to cooperate with it, and that its policies regarding the removal of harmful materials are not effective.

Erdan, together with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, are drafting legislation that could force Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media platforms to remove online postings that incite terrorism.

The recent wave of Palestinian terror has erupted as a result of malicious lies and incitement by the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Hamas terror organization and the Islamic movement, Israel says, and a glimpse at Palestinian social media reveals the extent and virulence of this lethal phenomenon.

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On Facebook, one can find posts calling on social media users to join the violence against Israel.

Israel has arrested several Arab for inciting violence against Israel on social media.

Last October, some 20,000 Israelis joined a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, charging that the social media platform is ignoring posts that include Palestinian incitement and calls to murder Jews.

“While everyone understands the need to keep the web free, Facebook’s decision to allow this flood of terrorist incitement and calls to murder Jews to continue has crossed all red lines,” the Shurat Hadin Law Center, which is spearheading this venture, announced at the time.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News