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Facebook hits Israeli prime minister's son with 24-hour ban

Yair Netanyahu shared posts the social network removed and criticized it as the "thought police."

Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was banned by Facebook for 24 hours on Sunday. The father and son are seen together in 2015.
Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook on Sunday stopped Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair from posting for 24 hours.

The 27-year-old slammed the social network as "thought police" and shared posts it had deleted. His criticism came after Facebook removed a post in which he called for "avenging the deaths" of Israeli soldiers killed by Palestinian gunmen and suggested that Palestinians be expelled from Israel, according to the Associated Press.

He also reportedly shared a screenshot of the deleted post in violation of Facebook's community rules.

"Unbelievable. Facebook blocks me for 24 hours for simply criticizing it! Thought police," Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew Sunday.

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The massive social network has long been trying to get a handle on posts that bump up against or cross the boundaries set by its community standards, which seek to rein in behaviors such as abuse, trolling or hate speech..

Facebook said in an emailed statement that Netanyahu's posts included hate speech, which was removed "as we would do for anyone posting similar content about any protected characteristic." The company noted that his sharing a screenshot of the deleted post and calling on others to share it was the same as writing it again.

"Facebook does not allow hate speech on the platform and will continue to enforce its policy," it said in the statement.

"In addition, we want to emphasize that we never remove posts for criticizing the company and the claim that we are censoring criticism of the company on the platform is plainly untrue."

The Israeli prime minister's office didn't immediately to respond to a request for comment.

Back in September, Facebook revealed an artificial intelligence system, codenamed "Rosetta," designed to help its computers sift through the billions of posts in an effort to target content violating its hate speech rules.

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