TEL AVIV – A video produced by an Israeli legal rights NGO claiming that Facebook allows incitement leading to Islamic terrorism has gone viral, garnering nearly 1 million views in the four days since it was launched.
The Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center’s video — titled “Who’s behind terror – Rewound!” — shows how a terrorist uses Facebook every step of the way leading up a terror attack. It opens with footage of a bombing in New York City, before “rewinding” to various moments in the three-month lead up to the attack, showing the fictional terrorist doing everything from engaging with the Facebook pages of terror groups to learning how to make a bomb.
“Turning a blind eye to violent incitement is a dangerous and reckless policy,” the narrator says at the end of the video. “It must stop.”
The video’s launch came exactly one week after a student at Ohio State University carried out a car-ramming and stabbing attack against fellow students. Before the attack, the perpetrator Abdul Razak Ali Artan had posted a Facebook rant calling for people to follow the teachings of slain al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat HaDin, said in a statement, “Facebook’s announcement this week that it will create 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.”
Shurat HaDin has two lawsuits against Facebook pending in the U.S.: Cohen vs. Facebook was filed in 2015 on behalf of 20,000 Israelis at the height of last year’s wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks, seeking an injunction forcing Facebook to monitor and block terrorists’ pages. The second lawsuit, Force vs. Facebook, seeks $1 billion in damages for families of five Israeli victims of Hamas terrorism under the U.S. Antiterrorism Act.