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Facebook Israel Office Vandalised by Anti-Violence Protesters

If there's one thing Facebook absolutely don't need right now, it's more controversy stemming from Asia or the Middle East. They're making every possible effort to extend their reach in that direction at the moment, as well as cement their reputation as a humanitarian company, but it seems like no matter what they do, they will still manage to get on somebody's bad side.

In this case, it's a group of anti-violence activists in Israel, who on Saturday vandalised Facebook's Tel Aviv office. It wasn't anything too destructive, the activists simply pasted a poster on the outside wall of the office with an image of a red hand print, with graffiti text reading 'Blood on Your Hands' and '#stop_FB_terror'. According to them, they were unable to post the same message on Facebook's digital wall, so they decided to post it on a physical one instead.

The actual issue that this stems from is Facebook's apparent refusal to remove content which incites violence against Israelis, allegedly posted by Palestinian insurgents and/or suspected terrorists. It's an issue that's been raised before, the Israeli Law Centre (Shurat HaDin), a non-governmental civil rights movement, filed a class action suit against Facebook a few days ago which is still being processed for the exact same reason.

According to both Shurat HaDin and the people who vandalised the office, Facebook have been reluctant to take down written content which has the intent, or at least the potential, to inspire violence against the Israeli people. "They don't like to take down these pages because the more bells and whistles there are, the more time people spend on the site which is worth money to them."  Said Rotem Gaz, the principle organiser of the little art project. "I decided to go out and campaign against them to make it clear our blood is on their hands."

Facebook have a somewhat unfortunate reputation when it comes to what content they do and do not allow to be posted. In past images and videos of disturbing or violent acts have been left up because they have not directly violated the terms of use, whilst numerous mothers have found images of themselves breastfeeding their children getting removed. Politically, this is obviously something of a danger area, they are arguments on both sides of it, but there can be no doubt that Facebook should not be tolerant of the encouragement, or even organisation of acts of violence on the site, regardless of who is committing them, if that is indeed what is happening in this case.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Facebook Israel Office Vandalised by Anti-Violence Protesters Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, October 19, 2015 Rating: 5

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