Knesset endorse self regulation of talkbacks

Leading Israeli web portals agreed to implement self regulation rules, according to which they will examine users' talkbacks and block those which are clearly and obviously illegal. by doing so, these portals hope to avoid pending legislation that holds large websites accountable for users' content. Neverhteless, the portals told the Knesset today that their consent is subject to immunity from liability and that such immunity must be provided within the pending Israeli E-Commerce Law.

The draft consent (Hebrew PDF) was introduced in the Knesset's Science Committee. The websites agreed to self-regulate talkbacks and block or remove those which are clearly and unquestionably defamatory, abusive, breaches privacy, induces to violence, racial or pedophile - and being such is obvious without any need for legal or factual investigation. All other users' content, except for talkbacks, is subject to a Notice and Takedown system.

The Ministry of Justice objects to the agreement, due to freedom of speech considerations. However, ISOC-IL, which contributed to the agreement, pointed out that a similiar arrangment was made in 1996 between the US Congress and US content providers and enacted in section 230(c) of the Communication decency Act.

KM Michael Eitan & KM Israel Hason decided to endorse the arrangement, saying that self regulation is preferable to legislation. Further hearings are to be held in an unspecified future date.