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Just three days after launching, provocative video raising awareness for US lawsuits damages and new Facebook policies garners over 750,000 views
NEW YORK, Dec. 8 — A provocative video leveling unprecedented charges that Facebook is inciting terrorism around the world has gone viral, with more than 750,000 views only three days after it launched.
Israel’s minister of public security and strategic affairs, Gilad Erdan, who heads government efforts against the BDS movement and online incitement, shared the video on Facebook and expressed his support. “Online incitement leads to terror. Facebook, Twitter and all other social media platforms have to take responsibility and remove the incitement that proliferates there,” he said.
The video by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, underscores Shurat HaDin’s lawsuits against Facebook, Cohen v. Facebook and Force v. Facebook, which are pending before Judge Nicholas Garafufis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. A hearing to decide whether those cases can proceed to trial is scheduled for January 19, 2017.
The video, “Who’s behind terror – Rewound!” is inspired by the movie “Memento” and opens with a slow-motion replay of a terrorist bomb attack in New York City, then rewinds time 10 minutes, then two hours, then 24 hours, then three months, to show the key moments when Facebook helped incite the terrorist to act. Shurat Ha Din expects the video will be viewed more than one million times by the end of this week.
“Facebook and other social media platforms have become a crucial component for international terror, the same as guns, bombs and money,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center. “Facebook’s announcement this week that it will created a shared database to remove terrorist content is a step in the right direction, but it’s too little, too late. This won’t undo the harm it has already caused to the victims of terrorism and it’s no substitute for shutting down terrorists’ social media accounts.”
“Social media platforms should be denying services to terrorists — and should be held accountable for aiding, abetting and inciting terrorism,” she added.
Shurat HaDin’s first case against Facebook, Cohen v. Facebook, was filed in 2015 on behalf of 20,000 Israelis during the first weeks of the so-called “stabbing intifada,” after two Palestinians armed with a knife and gun attacked passengers on an Israeli bus. The case was originally named Lakin v. Facebook, but the case name was changed after one of the victims, Richard Lakin, succumbed to his wounds.
In this case, Shurat HaDin seeks to shut down terrorist pages on Facebook not because of their content but because by allowing this content, Facebook allegedly facilitates terrorism by providing services to terrorists. The case seeks an injunction forcing Facebook to actively monitor and block such pages, similarly to how banks block transactions with known terrorists.
In a second lawsuit, Force v. Facebook, Shurat HaDin seeks $1 billion in damages on behalf the families of five Israeli victims of the terrorist group Hamas. This case, under the U.S. Antiterrorism Act, charges Facebook with providing material support and resources to Hamas — which the U.S. has designated a “foreign terrorist organization” — in the form of Facebook services that the group used in carrying out terrorist actions.