Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Is Netanyahu Deleting Critical Facebook Comments?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook page appears to have been scrubbed of critical comments over the last several months, even those written in polite language.

A Haaretz review of Netanyahu’s Facebook profile, which counts more than 2 million followers, found that dozens of comments from both left and right wing critics of the Prime Minister disappeared without the writer having deleted them.

Among the deleted comments was a post from an Israeli who opposed Netanyahu’s rejection of the state comptroller’s critical report of 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, and a post from someone critical of Netanyahu’s stance on the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

To document the phenomenon, Haaretz worked with the Open Media and Information Lab at Israel’s Open University, which did an electronic scan of the page. Haaretz also conducted a manual review.

Netanyahu has been more active on Facebook in recent years, posting videos to speak directly to the Israeli public and his base. According to Haaretz, the page is run by Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Hebrew University sociologist Yael Berda said that scrubbing Facebook comments will affect public discourse by preventing criticism from reaching those in power.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at [email protected] or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.