Facebook Censorship Goes to Extreme: Erases Any Mention of Right-Wing Israeli Activist
“Speak up, judge righteously, Champion the poor and the needy.” (Proverbs 31:9)
An Israeli television program came to the defense of a right-wing extremist after Facebook began removing any post mentioning Bentzi Gopstein. The presenter explained that although he strongly disapproved of Gopsteins views, he thought that Facebook had infringed on his right to criticize the right-wing view in the public forum.
Ben-Zion “Bentzi” Gophstein is a political activist affiliated with the radical right in Israel and director of Lehava, an Israeli Jewish anti-assimilation organization. In r 2019, he was indicted on charges of incitement to terrorism, violence, and racism.
Gopstein has a history of conflict with Facebook. In 2012, Gopstein wrote a letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, referring to him by his Hebrew name ‘Mordechai”, protesting both Zuckerberg’s marriage to a non-Jewish woman, as well as the Palestinian use of Facebook. He complained, “In Israel, too, assimilation is hitting us quite a bit because of your Facebook, where every Mohammed is ‘CitySlicker’ and every Yusuf calls himself ‘Prince Charming’”.
In 2018, Gopstein started a fundraiser to raise money to sue Facebook for censorship.
It came as no surprise when Facebook took down Gopstein’s page but Guy Zohar, the presenter on MiHatzad HaSheni (From the other side) took great umbrage when he discovered that Facebook had taken their censorship to an entirely new level.
“First off, we have an unpopular opinion about an unpopular man,” Zohar said on the program this week, referring to Gopstein. “Facebook is blocking the very extreme right-wing activist. But now they are doing even more than that. Facebook decided to censor his very existence. At least on the internet.”
“The activist and law student, Dov Morel, posted on Facebook, ‘Bentzi Gopstein is a nice man.’ To be extra sure, he included in the post, gay pride flags. 14 hours later, Facebook removed his post and blocked it on social media for three days.”
Zohar’s program ran a test and a person from his staff made a post on Facebook simply writing Gopstein’s name with no other details. The post was removed five hours later.
“It seems that it is impossible to write ‘Bentzi Gopstein’ on Facebook,” Zohar said.”Just the name??!!”
“So if Bentzi Gopstein fall in the forest and he has no Facebook, does he make a sound?”
Zohar announced that he was launching a “sort of” campaign.
“This is not about the rights of Bentzi Gopstein,” Zohar explained. “This is about our right to post his name. Even if it is to criticize him.”
Zohar then called on the public to post the words ‘Bentzi Gopstein’
“If you are blocked because of this, we apologize,” Zohar said. “But you can still watch us on Instagram. Well, even that belongs to Facebook. Or YouTube.”
Source: Israel in the News