Israel threatens 'legal action' against Twitter for promoting 'terrorism'

Israel threatens 'legal action' against Twitter for promoting 'terrorism'
Israeli minister Ayelet Shaked caused Twitter's shares to tremble after threatening legal action against the site for not taking action against "terrorism", despite herself making incendiary online comments against Palestinians
2 min read
21 March, 2018
Ayelet Shaked is no stranger to making incendiary online comments herself [Getty]
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked criticised Twitter on Tuesday for not doing enough to counter messages that incite violence against Israel, despite herself making disturbing comments on social media calling for the killing of Palestinians.

Twitter's shares took a tumble with the news that Israel was weighing action against the company, adding to the growing woes of social media stocks.

Twitter shares closed down 10.4 percent at $31.735 following comments by the far-right Israeli politician.

Shaked - widely considered a racist - warned that the Israeli government was considering "legal action" against the micro-blogging site.

"Terrorist organisations have been running from Twitter instead of Facebook. Simple reason: Facebook responds effectively to our inquiries in the removal of terrorist content. Twitter ignores," she tweeted.

"We are considering running legal measures against them," she wrote in comments translated from Hebrew.

Shaked - of the ultra-conservative Jewish Home party - has herself made incendiary social media comments calling for the genocide of Palestinians.

She declared during the 2014 Gaza War that "the entire Palestinian people is the enemy", calling for its destruction "including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure."

She also famously called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to "little snakes".

Many on social media ridiculed Shaked's remarks, calling them "beyond ridicule" taking into account her denial of Palestinian right to life.

Twitter's tumble came as social media stocks overall were under pressure following widespread criticism of Facebook over reports that a data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica hired by Donald Trump's presidential campaign misused the data of some 50 million users.

Facebook shares fell 2.6 percent following reports the Federal Trade Commission was investigating the company over the episode and whether it violated a 2011 consent decree over the handling of consumer data.

Shares of Facebook had already lost 6.8 percent on Monday.

"Facebook is unregulated and very profitable but concerns over future regulation are now at a fever pitch. Regulation would likely increase costs," said in a note.

"Another risk is the increased potential for users to shun the company's flagship social network."

Two other social media companies also fell, with Snap losing 2.6 percent and Pandora Media giving up 1.9 percent.

Agencies contributed to this report.