Did Facebook Lie? ‘Palestinian Third Intifada’ Page Alive and Well, Nearly Half Million Strong

Townhall.com Staff
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Posted: Jun 22, 2011 9:30 AM
Did Facebook Lie? ‘Palestinian Third Intifada’ Page Alive and Well, Nearly Half Million Strong
It might be hard to keep track of them all, but remember that Facebook page calling for a “Third Palestinian Intifada” against Israel – the one that received over 350,000 “Likes” and incited its members to bear arms against the Jewish state and people in yet a third violent uprising? The same page that was finally, presumably removed by the social networking giant – though only after succumbing to widespread outrage and enormous pressure from the Anti-Defamation League, Israeli government officials and people of goodwill around the world?

Well, it is still on Facebook, alive and kicking, with an additional 40,000 new fans to boot. In tow are numerous other “Third Intifada” and violent anti-Semitic hate pages active on the site, each boasting anywhere from 6,000 to 300,000 and more members.

A Facebook spokesman who said the original intifada page started out as “Ghandi-esque,” confirmed to Fox News back in March that the page had in fact been “removed” when its content degenerated into “hateful, violent vitriol.” Not to mention hate speech and calls for violence are supposedly strictly against Facebook’s Terms of Service.

“Ghandi-esque?” Strange analogy considering the very definition of the word “intifada,” in this specific context, means “armed uprising.” Anyone familiar with Mahatma Ghandi, the pacifist, might find the two terms irreconcilable.

Noyes went on to tell FoxNews:

“We continue to believe that people on Facebook should be able to express their opinions, and we don’t typically take down content that speaks out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas,” Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Facebook, told FoxNews.com. He said the social network would continue to take down pages that issue “direct calls for violence or expressions of hate.”

Noyes also explained that the site, removed for its hateful and violent vitriol, once pushed a Ghandi-esque message of peaceful protest.

So why does a simple search on Facebook still reveal the Arabic language page, in all its hate-filled glory? The intifada group’s Youtube page (yes, it has a Youtube page, complete with “promo videos”) states, and rather unabashedly, that although Facebook “closed” them down, fans can follow a link to the new one:

True, they closed the page, but they can not clear the Palestinian issue from our hearts, the uprising of the Arab Liberation of Palestine 5/15/2011

Our new Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Intifada.15May

A screenshot of the page’s latest incarnation, featured above, shows the group not skipping a beat, with high traffic and a steady stream of fresh content posted throughout the day.

Google Translate provides Arabic to English translations for the pages, and while not all comments are legible, the ones discernible via Google reveal some very disturbing rhetoric. According to the translation, one member’s comment reads, “God bless [Muslims] for our master Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God bless him when he said ‘I like three days of fasting in the summer and the war with the sword and cut the neck of the Jews by the sword.’”

Another member revisits the age old anti-Semitic slur likening the Jewish people to decedents of “apes and pigs” when he comments, “the story is not the story of the Liberation of Palestine, but God wants to purify the hearts of the people with God and want[s] to lift the oppression of unarmed Muslims from the sons of apes and pigs…”

One comment from a different Facebook intifada page translates, “O dearest Vids Islam and Muslims, have mercy on the martyrs of the Muslim. And cleanse the land of the Jews and the Zionists ****”

While some things can indeed be lost in translation, the overall message seems clear enough.

In fact, a rudimentary search on Facebook yields dozens of anti-Israel pages depicting gruesome anti-Semitic images and calls for violence – each with tens, even hundreds of thousands of followers. Conversely, searches run for similar hate-pages against Palestinians, and more broadly, the terms Muslims and Islam, deliver precious few, if any results. The pages that are returned are scarce on membership and appear, in large part, defunct. Interestingly enough, searches run for hate pages attacking other ethnic and religious communities such as African Americans, Latinos, and Christians, respectively, deliver practically nothing.

With roughly 500 million members, it’s odd that Facebook is barren of hate pages targeting other faiths and ethnicities, leading one to believe the social network does enforce its TOS policy when it deems fit.

Some might argue that, given the sheer volume of site content, Facebook staff cannot monitor every profile or page, however, most networking sites that allow its users to post content, actually implement simple moderation algorithms to troll for offensive text violating the site’s terms of service. Even if one were to assume Facebook’s algorithms cannot track Arabic text, it strains belief that a page with nearly half a million members, like Third Intifada, escapes anyone’s radar. Especially given the multiple times these pages have been flagged for violation and called to the attention of Facebook administrators by concerned citizens around the world.

Sadly, the intifada pages aren’t the only instances where Facebook permits violent Islamic messages and content on its site. Recently, The Blaze reported on a Facebook campaign encouraging Saudi men to beat women with cords.

Which begs the questions: if the original Third Palestinian Intifada page was in fact removed by Facebook, then why hasn’t the network removed the replacement pages; did Facebook officials lie when they vowed to continue to take down pages inciting “direct calls for violence or expressions of hate?”

The Blaze contacted Facebook with these very questions, but has not received a response.

The impression, it seems, is that Facebook administrators are willing to turn a blind eye to agitators using its platform to incite violence, and even murder of innocent people – as long as Islamists are the ones doing the “Liking.”

Oh, and for the record, in addition to Facebook and Youtube, the Third Intifada’s founders have also launched a website, Twitter page, and now even offer an intifada-inspired iPhone “app.”