Itongadol.- Facebook has written an apology for removing a pro-Israel post, following an open letter of protest written in The Jerusalem Post by former MK Dov Lipman, who complained about the social media’s double standard in their regulations of free speech.
Last month Israel Video Network posted a graphic with the statement, “It is called Israel, not ‘Palestine’! ‘Share’ to agree!” On May 26, it received a message from Facebook saying the post was removed because it “does not follow the Facebook Community Standards.” The Israel Video Network was also not allowed to post for three days, and was asked to remove other posts that may be “problematic.” Facebook threatened termination of the page.
Lipman, a US native who served in the Knesset for two years as a member of Yesh Atid, was contacted by Israel Video Network to see if he could help, in his current capacity as director of public diplomacy in the vice chairman’s office of the World Zionist Organization.
To test Facebook’s standards, Lipman created a pro-Palestine Facebook page two weeks ago and posted the same graphic with the words “Israel” and “Palestine” switched. He sent a complaint to Facebook about the graphic, and received a response stating that the post does not violate any standards.
Lipman said he had no problem with Facebook working toward ceasing incitement of violence, as long as the regulations are applied equally.
“If they want to have a policy that they don’t want to have any posts that have to deal with whether it’s called Israel or Palestine, I can respect that,” Lipman told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“Anybody can have a policy. But you can’t have one standard for one and one for the other.”
After attempting to contact Facebook officials and receiving no response, Lipman penned an open letter in Friday’s Jerusalem Post lamenting the double standards.
He received a response on Tuesday from Facebook, apologizing for deleting the post and restoring it fully.
“A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook,” the message said. “This was a mistake, and we sincerely apologize for this error. We’ve since restored the content, and you should now be able to see it.”
Lipman said that the outcome of “this particular case was great… I hope that they [Facebook] will take greater care in making these analyses in the future, and recognize that it has to always be an equal playing field.”