Mideast Strife Spills Onto Facebook

Israeli, Palestinian networkers squabble over country names
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2008 11:37 AM CDT
Mideast Strife Spills Onto Facebook
Israeli settlers walk next to new mobile homes in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Eli, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008.    (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

Facebook has now had to take on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Guardian reports, on account of its standard IDing of members by country. Jewish settlers in the West Bank were fuming when the site told them they lived in Palestine; Palestinians in East Jerusalem in turn protested that their turf was listed as part of Israel.

The online-networking behemoth soon capitulated, allowing some users to identify with either country. But the attendant volleys on Facebook pages have sparked a cyber-conflict that looks as intractable as its real world counterpart: some settlers complain that Palestine even exists as an option. "That's something that doesn't exist and will never exist," one wrote. (More Israel stories.)

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