Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah
Photo: EPA
Facebook removes Hezbollah page
Social network blocks Shiite terror group's page, affiliated Al-Manar TV page for 'inciting violence'; Hezbollah relaunches TV station's smartphone app

Facebook has removed pages created by Hezbollah and its television station, Al-Manar, over incitement to violence, the Daily Star reported Sunday.


The social networking giant thus followed recommendations by the US State Department. The latter included Hezbollah on its list of terror organization in 2004; adding it TV station to the list in 2006.


"Under our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities we do not allow content that 'incites violence,'" Frederic Wolens, a Facebook spokesperson, said.


"And to help keep our site safe, we use the State Department List of Foreign Terror Organizations to help make determinations of which groups may be involved in the promotion of violence. Due to Hezbollah’s appearance on the list, they have been removed from the site."


Both Google and Apple removed al-Manar's applications from their stores in July. The move was linked to a report published by the Washington DC-based Middle East Media Research Institute, which urged Google, Apple and Facebook to exclude Hezbollah and its affiliates.


The institute urged YouTube and Twitter, both of which Al-Manar has accounts on, to do the same.


But the Shiite terror group has relaunched the app on Thursday, as the Al-Manar’s website offered an alternative way to download its app, "following the campaign carried out by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League to deactivate Al-Manar applications on smartphones at Google Play and Apple store."


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a statement, expressing concern about the move: "As terrorist groups adapt to new technologies and figure out ways to circumvent restrictions, it is critical for the industry to take appropriate action to ensure that their services are not exploited by terror organizations.


"The ADL will continue to monitor and expose how Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations use current technology to spread their violent messages and to work with Internet service companies to see to it that terrorists don’t succeed in evading industry safeguards designed to prevent the use of these platforms to promote terrorism. Now more than ever, the stakes are too high to be complacent."



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