UPDATE (5 August 2014): In the early hours of August 5th (Melbourne time), after this report went viral with over 1000 shares, this hate was finally removed by Facebook. Thank you to everyone for your support and your help reporting this page. Together we made a difference.
Hadar Goldin, a 23 year old Second Lieutenant in the Israeli Army, was taken by Hamas on Friday August 1st. At first it was believed he was captured, and there were hopes for his return through the weekend. On Saturday night the Army announced that evidence at the scene indicated Goldin had been killed at the scene rather than being captured alive.
On Saturday, as Israelis prayed for Goldin’s safe return, a Facebook a page calling for him to be killed (“Kill Hadar Goldin”, ID# 696622077051784) was created. Pages calling for violence are a violation of Facebook’s community standards. When the person being spoken about is being held captive, as people thought was the case here, this elevates the situation to a credible threat.
Its quiet conceivable that a group holding a captive might kill them in response to a ground swell of online support for them to do so. Such calls are a criminal act, including in the United States where Facebook’s serves are based. Facebook has an obligation to remove such pages immediately. This particular page has now been active for three days and counting.
The page went on to celebrate news of Goldin’s death:
And to post more generic antisemitic content, including portrayal of Israel’s Prime Minister as a Nazi with devil horns, using both modern and historic demonization.
This page is still on Facebook. See it online here, and report it (if you are unsure how, please see the short guide below). Then click share on this page to let others know. This has been online for far too long.
Other recommended content:
- OHPI Mini Appeal – August 2014 (Target: $500 to support our work)
- Briefing on 60 Minutes Australia’s post about Gaza that led to antisemitism on Facebook
- A blog post at Jerusalem Post by OHPI’s CEO highlights how Facebook is caught in a social media war
- Report on the Antisemitic Meme of the Jews
- Report on Facebook’s failure to recognize certain kinds of Antisemitism
Quick Guide on How to Report A Page
1. Click the “…”
3. Select that it shouldn’t be on Facebook
4. Select hate speech
6. Select submit to Facebook for Review
All done. Now don’t get discouraged if your report is soon rejected by Facebook… it happens, but your report still helps!
Facebook have now rejected our complaints about the page. This is what you see once they get around to rejecting your complaint:
Does Facebook realise how bad this looks? We didn’t publish this immediately as we though this page would be swiftly taken down. While Facebook is having a lot of trouble coping in light of the volume of content being posted about the Hamas-Israel war, and in light of the rising volume of antisemitism on Facebook at the moment, that can only account for a delay and it can’t excuse Facebook for getting it so wrong and actually rejecting people’s reports. Facebook not only needs to remove this page, they need to investigate which staff member chose to reject the report. When users report pages calling for specific people to be killed, and Facebook staff reject those reports, those staff need to be held accountable.
In the mean time, OHPI will continue to do our thing. Not only monitoring the hate, but keeping public records like this one. Failures like this demonstrate that the Internet Industry’s argument for freedom from any sort of regulation is not a reasonable demand. Some content is always unlawful, and in these cases freedom of speech arguments simply don’t come into play. If companies like Facebook can’t get it right themselves, they must be monitored and regulated. There must be a price to pay when the actions of a company protect online content which literally calls for someone to be killed. We’re proud to be doing our bit to document and publish these failings. We hope our work will push companies like Facebook into improving their systems, including having greater accountability of staff when they get it so horrendously wrong. Finally, thank you to those who have been supporting us, you make our work possible.