Facebook and its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg are being sued for more than $1bn over a page that called for an uprising in occupied Palestine against Israel.
The page, entitled ‘Third Palestinian Intifada’ had gathered more than 340,000 ‘likes’ for its proposed May 15 uprising before its removal from the popular social networking site.
The lawsuit was filed by US attorney Larry Klayman, who described himself in the suit as “an American citizen of Jewish origin”. In a statement on his website, he alleges that Facebook failed to take the page down quickly enough, keeping it online to “increase the social network’s net worth based on viewership and use.”
“It is not in dispute that Facebook has profited handsomely by the turmoil in the Middle East,” the statement said. “While Facebook has accomplished a lot of good, it can, as in this instance, be used for nefarious and evil purposes.
"They must be not only enjoined but also hit in their purse, which is where they understand matters best.”
The page was removed by Facebook on March 29 following a number of complaints.
A Facebook spokesman told AFP that the claims were “without merit,” adding that “we will fight it vigorously.”
Facebook’s director of policy for Europe, the Middle East and Asia Richard Allen was quoted as saying by AFP: “Our reviewers felt that the content of the Page began as a call for peaceful protest, even though the term Intifada has been associated with violence in the past.
“In addition, the administrators initially removed comments that promoted violence. Under these conditions a page of this nature would normally be permitted to remain on Facebook.”
Mr Allen said the company 'continues to believe that people on Facebook should be able to express their opinions, and we do not typically take down content that speaks out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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