The Israel Democracy Institute applauds Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to reevaluate the Facebook Law which was initially formulated to help fight terrorism, but evolved into a draconian law that could set back the Start-Up Nation decades in terms of freedom of speech.
The Israel Democracy Institute applauds Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to reevaluate the Facebook Law. The bill was initially formulated to help fight terrorism, but evolved into a draconian law that would allow the state far- reaching authority to remove “criminal” content from social media – including news platforms.
Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, a senior researcher at IDI, explains that “the law would enable the state to decide whether or not content violates the Israeli penal code and remove such content, including anything from insulting a state employee, or a call for a tax boycott, to incitement to murder or terrorism. Should the current bill pass, the Start-Up Nation could be set back decades in terms of freedom of speech.”
Shwartz Altshuler adds that “Today, many countries are debating how to regulate social media content, however none have come close to the extreme legislation proposed in this bill. The Israeli bill is extreme in that it does not provide a specific list of crimes, rather it is left to the discretion of enforcement authorities to decide whether the content is criminal or not. Should the law pass, the state will become social media’s chief censor. Prime Minister Netanyahu is correct in his understanding that the bill must be amended so that it can serve its original purpose.”