Board says Facebook too slow to act over "bomb the bod" threat

Facebook initially refused to act over threats against Board of Deputies


Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has accused Facebook of failing to react quickly enough to their complaint about a social media post that said "Bomb the bod!" and "The bullet and the bomb is the only way this country will be free."
The threats were made after Jackie Walker – the former Momentum activist expelled from Labour over allegations involving antisemitism – circulated a post on her Facebook page which said: "Dear BoD, Kier (sic) Starmer, ‘Jewish community groups’ – if you want race conflict, you are going the right way. Stop it."
Responding, a Facebook user named Paul Blackburn posted the two threating messages.
The Board confirmed on Wednesday that they had complained to Facebook as well as the police over the threats – but the social media company initially refused to act.
Mrs van der Zyl said that statements from the "discredited" Ms Walker would normally be ignored "but this time her statements led to a direct threat to our organisation, with one respondent on another of her posts threatening to 'bomb' us."
She added: "He subsequently doubled down on this statement, calling for "bombs and bullets" upon the Board of Deputies.
"Both the police and the Community Security Trust are looking into this incident.
"This situation would be worrying at the best of times, but what made it a thousand times worse is that, when alerted to this situation, Facebook took no action to remove the account of either the man who made the direct threat, or the original poster who incited it.
"In fact, the member of staff who reported it to Facebook initially received a response telling him that they would not be removing the comment threatening to bomb us because 'it doesn't go against any of our Community Standards."
The Board President confirmed that Facebook eventually removed the statements – but said "it should not have taken this level of knowledge of people in the company to receive a response."
She added: "What this incident demonstrates, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is that either Facebook's Community Standards are hopelessly flawed or those employees responsible for implementing them are extremely ill-trained; or possibly both.
"We note that the inflammatory post that led to the threat, and the accounts of both people concerned are still available. 
"We would urge Facebook to wake up and realise that there is a difference between free speech on the one hand, and incitement and hate speech on the other." 
The JC has contacted Facebook for comment.

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