The Israeli foreign ministry said on Thursday It had spoken to Facebook and YouTube to remove videos it says have been encouraging Palestinian violence against Israelis in the past week.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, providing an excerpt from a letter sent to Google Israel, whose parent company owns YouTube, said contact had also been made with Facebook.
“The videos depict recent terrorist attacks, praise the assailants and present Jews and Israelis in a hateful and racist manner, and since their publishing, three more attacks have taken place so far,” the letter said.
Spokespeople for Facebook and Google Inc said they could not comment on specific videos or contacts with governments.
“YouTube has clear policies that prohibit content like gratuitous violence, hate speech and incitement to commit violent acts, and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users,” said Google spokesman Paul Solomon.
The letter to Google included two YouTube video links, one of which has already been removed. In one clip, archived on an Israeli news site, a Hamas song in Arabic-accented Hebrew calls for the killing of “Zionists” while another is an animation of the drive-by shooting of an Israeli couple killed in the West Bank a week ago.
Asked about the Israeli appeal, a Facebook spokeswoman said: “We want people to feel safe when using Facebook. There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on Facebook.”
The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Facebook had received complaints about anti-Arab postings. But she said Facebook, as a rule, urged people “to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our standards so we can investigate and take swift action.”