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Friday, January 4, 2013

Facebook off the Hook for Intifada Pages That Promoted Killing Jews

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Dodged another billion-dollar bullet
  • Dodged another billion-dollar bullet

Last year, Freedom Fighter Larry Klayman took Facebook to court, claiming Mark Zuckerberg was a self-hating Jew. Why? Because the 28-year-old bajillionaire refused to (promptly) take down the "Third Palestinian Intifada" Facebook page. Yes, it's exactly as it sounds.

But Klayman officially lost his own mini uprising after a judge last week dismissed the suit, claiming immunity under the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The law shields providers of "interactive computer services" from liability for publishing information created by third parties. It defines an "interactive computer service" as a service or system that provides access to a computer server to multiple users.

In short, Facebook is not liable for a group page that threatened "Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once Muslims have killed all the Jews," the federal court ruled.

Klayman, the founder of advocacy groups Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch, sued Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for negligence and assault, asking for $1 billion in damages (that's a lot of hoodies).

According to the suit, Klayman said the page "called for an uprising beginning on May 15, 2011, after Muslim prayers [were] completed, announcing and threatening that 'Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once Muslims have killed all the Jews.'"

The controversial page had more than 360,000 followers, and three similar Intifada-themed pages had amassed some 7,000 subscribers, according to the complaint.

Klayman argued that Facebook refused to remove the page "for many days," despite a request from Israel's Public Diplomacy Minister. It eventually removed it "begrudgingly," according to the complaint. Klayman sought more than $1 billion in damages and asked a court to permanently bar Facebook from allowing users to publish the Intifada pages and similar content.

Facebook asked a federal judge in Washington to dismiss the action, and U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton agreed last week that Facebook is immune to the lawsuit.

Facebook, like most websites, is an interactive computer service provider, and is not responsible for creating or developing the offending content, Walton said.

While Klayman argued that Facebook "encouraged" the Intifada pages when the Silicon Vally company dragged its feet on removing them. But there was no allegations that Facebook actually contributed to the offensive content of the pages, the judge said.

HT: Courthouse News

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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