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Seeking to Overturn Ruling Forcing It to Reinstate Popular Israeli Page, Facebook Appeals to Israel’s Supreme Court

In December, Facebook reinstated the page following an Israeli court ruling

Amarelle Wenkert 17:5129.01.18

On Sunday, Facebook appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court to overturn a previous Tel Aviv District Court ruling, forcing it to reinstate popular Israeli page “Twitting Posts,” according to the appeal documents which were obtained by Calcalist. Facebook had terminated the page without notice in 2015 citing user agreement violations, following media reports alleging the page’s operators were paid for some of the content posted.

 

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At one point Israel’s most popular social Facebook page with over 700,000 followers, “Twitting Posts” featured memes, viral videos, and human interest stories. Since its 2015 termination, the page’s administrators attempted to reverse Facebook’s decision, promising to refrain from using the page for commercial purposes. Facebook refused and continued to block all attempts to revive the page under different names, resulting in the administrators filing a suit in the Tel Aviv District Court.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Getty Images Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Getty Images

 

In December, a judge ruled in favor of “Twitting Posts” operators, ordering Facebook to restore the page and pay over $70,000 (NIS 250,000) in court costs and lawyer fees. While the page’s administrators violated Facebook’s user agreement, it was not a major violation, said the judge, adding that such a violation called for a warning, and not the immediate termination of the page.

 

Following the December decision, the plaintiffs’ lawyer Guy Ophir wrote in a post to his Facebook page that the case has set a precedent. “In no other place or country in the world did a court of law ever compel Facebook to reinstate a terminated page,” Mr. Ophir said.

 

Facebook immediately countered with a request for a short-term stay of execution to the same court but was denied. It then stalled before fulfilling the court order, prompting the plaintiff’s attorney, Mr. Ophir, to file a request for contempt of court. Facebook responded by submitting a request to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal.

 

In its appeal, Facebook rejected the district court’s ruling that it had exercised excessive force against “Twitting Posts,” saying that the page’s operators had full knowledge of Facebook’s user agreement contract, which they had systematically violated. The appeal refers to the early court decision as “baseless” and “surprising.”

 

Facebook reinstated “Twitting Posts” with its 649,000 followers on December 18.

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