Facebooks new Golan policy irks Syria

Syria reportedly plans to block Facebook after the site began allowing users to designate some Golan Heights communities as being in Israel.

The Arabic newspaper Al Kuds Al Arabi reported Sept. 16 that Internet surfers in Syria now cannot enter the social networking site, according to the Israeli business daily Globes. The paper also reported that Facebook was closed to prevent Israelis and Syrians from communicating.

Facebook changed its personal information settings this week, allowing Golan residents to register themselves as living in Israel. Honest Reporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog that campaigns on behalf of Israel, convinced Facebook to make the change. The group said, “It is not for Facebook to decide the national origin of Golan residents. At the very least, Facebook must include the option of writing ‘Israel’ in the hometown section, as it has done with Jewish residents of the West Bank.”

Residents of some Golan towns previously had only been given the option of listing Syria in the hometown section. — jta & jpost.com