Open letter to Onavo

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An open letter to Facebook’s representatives in Israel

Rehovot, Israel February 27, 2014

Onavo, Inc. Palo Alto, CA 94306 cc. Onavo General Inquiries, Onavo Press Inquiries

Attention: Mr Guy Rosen and Mr.Roi Tiger

Dear Messrs Rosen and Tiger,

Your company Onavo’s recent acquisition by Facebook was a source of pride for many Israelis. This was not simply because a profitable exit is the goal of many or even most Israeli hi-tech start-ups but because you insisted that the company remains in Israel. Instead of yet another example of Israeli entrepreneurship and innovation moving out you have invited a giant to set up in Israel. Onavo’s Tel-Aviv office will remain open for business and will become Facebook’s new Israeli office.

It is because of your pride in Israel I am writing this open letter to both of you. It’s possible that you had a chance on your way to work to read this article, Appeal to Zuckerberg: Remove antisemitic content from Facebook in today’s Maariv. Perhaps some of your staff have brought it to your attention. Given the support for the protest, currently at about twelve and a half thousand (12,500 +) and growing at more than one thousand per day that figure could reach fifteen thousand confirmed online attendees, all of whom have Facebook accounts, by the end of the month. Other news media, worldwide, is beginning to take attention.

The reason for the wave of agitated Facebook users is a flood of Jew Hatred pages on Facebook. They include pages claiming Jews kidnap children to extract their blood to make matzoh for Pesach (Passover); pages claiming Adolf Hitler was a Christ figure whose real angelic nature has been hidden by his Jewish murderers and pages claiming Jews control the world’s media, stock exchanges, the Congress of the United States and just about everything else. These medieval/Nazi libels are not debatable criticism of Israel pretending not to be antisemitic but indisputable classic Jew Hatred.

It’s true Facebook does have a mechanism to report Hate Speech but when hundreds of members tried to report these pages they receive a reply that these pages do not violate Facebook Community standards. Generally that reply arrives within less than half an hour of the report being made.

Facebook’s suggestion that we, presumably politely, ask the admins of the page to remove it doesn’t have any connection to reality.

If accusing the Jews of sucking the blood of murdered children doesn’t offend Facebook community standards, what possibly could?

We appeal to you, as members of that exclusive group who speak to Mr. Zuckerberg face-to-face. If you are proud Jews, Israelis and now proud members of the Facebook team to bring the failure to apply Facebook’s own guidelines to his attention. If it is an algorithm problem, a personnel problem or something else he should be made aware.

The failure to remove Jew Hate pages from Facebook makes no one proud.


David Guy

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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