The Knesset plenum on Wednesday passed a proposed bill through its first reading that would allow for legal censorship of posts on social media platforms such as Facebook/Meta.
Under the proposed bill, a judge, who would be specially appointed for such tasks, would be able to order a private individual or corporation to remove a post from their social media platform if the post was deemed criminal in nature. Alternatively, the judge would also be able to order the removal of any post which is deemed as posing a serious threat to the well-being of another person.
The proposed bill angered opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu.
“I want to tell you how absurd this is and how dangerous it is. You are talking about democracy? This is a danger to its very existence,” Netanyahu said.
After the vote, Netanyahu asked to be able to address the Knesset.
“The law that was brought before us by this trampling coalition poses a great threat to democracy and the freedom of speech. The Bennet-Lapid government, together with Sa’ar is attempting to censor the social media networks, which is the last bastion of free speech for the right-wing against the biased left-wing media. There needs to be a limit to what this government can attempt to do. They are trying to silence people in every possible manner, and even here on social media. The government is not satisfied with controlling the biased media, now they want to silence and censor social media as well.”
The former Prime Minister added: “Let’s make it clear that we are all against hate speech and speech that harms others, whether it takes place on social media, the regular media, or even in a dialogue between two people. But just as we do not set up a judge to monitor every conversation between people, so too we cannot set up a judge to monitor and censor social media channels. Attacking the freedom of speech on social media is a fatal blow to democracy. Sadly, your work is already being done for you by communication networks who are constantly silencing the voices of right-wing people.”
The wicked government (memshelet zadon) will have a groisse mapule!!!
LOL….Bibi complaining about “censorship” after Adelson and his cronies going back to 2015 with Israel Hayom, tried to dominate Israeli media. They went on to control the religious daily, Makor Rishon, which caters to the right wing tziyonim, and NRG, the website of perpetually troubled Maariv. Like Fox News (for Trump) and MSNBC (for Biden), the Adelson and aligned media properties never had a bad word for Bibi and have been non-stop critics of the coalition.
Bibi was a dictator with lockdowns. However, the newer government is even more ridiculous because it’s actually attempting to ban them with a bill. Imagine a democracy using its voters to create a Secular Dictatorship.
The Likud does have media influence, and that IS a problem. However, they are not banning other opinions from existing.
When I said “ban them with a bill” -I meant to say that they are trying to “ban the opposition with a bill”.