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Facebook Changes Mind, Shuts Down Palestinian Intifada Page

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Retreating from its previous stance, Facebook yesterday announced that it had pulled a page calling for a Third Palestinian Intifada. Israeli Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein wrote Mark Zuckerberg last week to request that the page be shuttered, but Facebook initially refused to do so; the company claimed that there was nothing overtly violent about the page, which was established as a call for peaceful protests on May 15th.

What happened afterward should surprise no one familiar with the hype effect. Facebook's public policy communications manager Andrew Noyes noted that "after the publicity of the page, more comments deteriorated to direct calls for violence," which the page's creators parroted in turn.

The page, which had amassed more than 350,000 followers, then came down. Of course, that doesn't prevent another page from going up. The same group started a spin-off page that quickly garnered hundreds of followers (although that, too, appears to have been shut down since). Faceboook, meanwhile, will continue having to face tough choices as it attempts to walk that fine line between the protective and the political.

Tags: facebook, intifada, israel, MarkZuckerberg, MiddleEast, palestine, palestinians, politics, protection, SocialNetworking, ThirdPalestinianIntifada, top