Once it fell to politicians and diplomats to solve international conflicts. Now, according to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responsibility lies with social media.
Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, headed off to Silicon Valley to meet senior executives at Google and its subsidiary YouTube late last month. Her task was to persuade them that, for the sake of peace, they must censor the growing number of Palestinian videos posted on YouTube.
Netanyahu claims these videos spur other Palestinians to carry out attacks, exemplified by the weeks of stabbings and car rammings against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
After the meeting, the foreign ministry issued a press release claiming Google had joined Israel’s “war against incitement”, and would establish a “joint apparatus” to prevent the posting of “inflammatory” videos. Google denied last week that any agreement was reached.