Dear Mr Zuckerberg …

star facebookRevise Facebook Community Standards

Three activists from Sweden have employed social media to send a message to a giant.

Dear Mr Zuckerberg … is yet another imaginative initiative (see Time for a BDS Rethink) that we think all Israel Advocates must join.

But, wait a second, I hear you say, #RETHINK2014 is about confronting Palestinian Hypocrisy Week and Dear Mr. Zuckerberg … is about protesting Facebook insistence that the most extreme Jew Hatred‡ is fine under their Community Standards.  (See Blood Libel OK by Facebook for one of the worst examples).

Why are you lumping them together?

Surely not all antisemitism is Israel criticism?

Wait until you rally against BDS and then see what you think. Attacking Israel with Jew Hatred imagery isn’t new but it is becoming frighteningly normalised.

Anna Berg, one of the three Swedes who organised this told me that she was sick and tired of the antisemitic crap on Facebook and how difficult it was to remove these pages off Facebook even though they have Community standards.

Not that the three don’t use traditional methods. They organised three rallies in Sweden, last year, including outside the Aftonbladet magazine. Hanna Zion, another organiser told me that the temperature was minus 10ºC. Swedes are tough.

So three  regular Swedes developed the idea of a virtual petition. All you have to do is indicate you are coming to the online event and that will be considered as a signature.

We decided to use Facebook because we just figured it was easier to reach people, easier to share and invite people that way and spreads faster than if you use a regular petition site like Change.org, for instance. And we thought it a good idea because we are talking about this site to actually do the event on the site.

Anna Berg, organiser

The idea is snowballing. The group is recording one thousand participants every day. When I spoke to Anna in the morning she spoke of more than six thousand. By evening that number is more than seven thousand!

Here are some graphic examples that Facebook has ruled acceptable under community standards†

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Why does Facebook refuse to remove Jew Hatred sites?

Has anyone done a real survey? As Facebook is a private company (although traded on the stock exchange) it is not obliged to provide numbers of how many sites are removed for hate speech. Many accuse it of being far more willing to respond to Muslim complaints. I was told that the third organiser Amnon Lee Israeli was threatened with having his account blocked for a very mild protest comment.

Smarter people than I say it may be an algorithm problem. The twenty minutes it took to rule that a site dedicated to spreading the classic blood libel that Jews kidnapped gentile children to use their blood for making unleavened bread did not offend Facebook’s Community Standards, suggests a digital rather than a human hand.

Others, less forgiving, say that as two of the four support sites are in a heavily Muslim city in India and the notoriously anti-Israel Republic of Ireland there is a political agenda to the refusal to remove Jew Hatred pages from Facebook.

Mr. Zuckerberg we appeal to you as a Jew and a responsible chief executive to look into this.
Dear-Zuckerberg

Facebook in Israel

Onavo_logo_big_BoW

There are three groups of recent Facebook employees with a vested interest in making this right. Last year for a pocket change $150 million it bought an Israeli firm Onavo and set up its first office in Israel.

Onavo is not the first Israeli company Facebook has acquired. The social network bought phone interface developer Snaptu for $70 million in 2011 and Face.com, a photo-sharing platform for up to $60 million in June 2012.

Does anyone know an employee of one of these companies. Top management can look Mark Zuckerberg in the eye and ask, What about the Hate Speech? Just how do we make contact?

Action Item


‡ I prefer referring to Jew Hatred rather than Antisemitism to avoid the Arabs are Semites, too defence or even worse Ashkenazi (European) Jews are not Semites embellishment.
† Where possible we don’t display original Hate Israel/Jews artwork without a faint disclaimer text on each graphic. This will, we hope, reduce the number of copies in circulation as the Haters won’t download and distribute from this website.

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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