Thanks to Online Hate Prevention Institute, Standwithus, Standwithus San Diego, Children Of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, SFI-Students For Israel, & Sign Petitions To Ban Holocaust Denial From Social Media As Hate Speech for your support. And Steven Alan Green for taking your time to join us. Finally, a great page ‘They Can’t’ for removing YouTube videos for us.
Interview with Facebook Fighter Michael Mendelson
By Steven Alan Green
Imagine a modern day invention called Facebook that connects everyone around the world. Imagine now that invention is the most successful Internet business of all time. Now imagine sick individuals and hate groups infiltrating this incredible invention and using it to focus hate against minorities and to bully individuals around the world. Tragic stories pop up all the time of a bullied teen reaching their breaking point, ending their pain by taking their own lives. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. It begins there. Because, whether it’s an individual being targeted or a minority group, hate on the Internet can have the same tragic effect. Imagine thousands of people rising up through their computers to lodge a world-wide protest to demand that these hate pages be torn down like the Berlin Wall. And imagine that cyber-protest working, but only on a case by case basis.
SOCIAL MEDIA RESPONSIBILITY:
In the last few years, there have been several tragic stories of young teens taking their own lives due to bullying through social media. As in most of the cases, it’s an accumulation of teasing and abuse (not just one incident) which causes teens like 12-year old Rebecca Ann Sedwick from Florida to take their own lives. But, bullying doesn’t always have to be targeted at an individual to be effective, damaging or even deadly. Every year, hundreds of hate group pages are created by anonymous and cowardly sick individuals, whose sole intent is hurting as many decent people as they can. These hate pages are self-published on Facebook, with the simplicity and ease of hitting the enter button. A few examples are in Mendelson’s blog.
THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IS THAT ACCESS REMAINS UNCHECKED:
The social media giant Facebook has made it a company policy to remove hate pages, especially when there are a number of online registered complaints. “Hate Pages” targeting African Americans, the LGBT and Gay Communities are routinely monitored and removed. However, for some unknown reason and as strange and out of place in today’s tolerant society it is, officials at Facebook refuse to take down hate pages aimed specifically at Jews, Jewish Americans and pro-Israel supporters. Ironically, the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is Jewish himself. Well, there are few good and courageous people stepping up and doing something about it. Michael Mendelson, a hard-working average American, has taken the lead with his small army of 600, reporting such pages and groups day in and day out. Mendelson’s method? Fight fire with fire. That’s why he created “Help Report Hate & Anti-Semitic Pages,” a Facebook page.
“Just as there is only so much one can do to supervise their children’s use due to technology, you can’t stop these hate groups. They keep popping up like cockroaches or weeds. Fortunately for the African American or Gay American, when enough people complain to Facebook, the pages are red-flagged and removed. All we’re asking for is the same respectful treatment towards the Jewish People, and implore Facebook to remove anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate pages. It’s astonishing to me they still exist and flourish on Facebook. And, it’s something that parents of young teens need to be made aware of. Our children’s minds are precious and should be protected from such poison, whether it’s a personal or racial or religious attack. They are, after all our children.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Technology didn’t get us into this mess, it’s just made it worse. With the plague of smartphones, our children’s access to the Internet can no longer be completely monitored. Mendelson urges parents to be aware of their children’s “likes” or Facebook groups they are in. Bullying pages can be entertaining to the uninitiated teen, but Mendelson insists it is still the parents’ responsibility to monitor and indeed censor what their children are exposed to.
“Pages and groups that target a race, religion or gender are often filled with conspiracy theories and our children today take the word of a friend or a blog above the actual truth. “
On October 14, at 10am precisely, “Help Report Hate & Anti-Semitic Pages” will lead thousands of sympathizers right to the doorstep of Facebook, at their international headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The issue boils down to this. Why is Facebook routinely and automatically removing hate group pages which target African Americans and the Gay Community, but when it comes to hate group pages that target Jews, they seem to turn an anti-Semitic blind eye? According to “Help Report Hate & Anti-Semitic Pages”, a few normally dependable stalwart iconic organizations of American and International freedom of speech and human rights have turned their backs on this obvious blatant abuse of what has essentially become a public trust. Mendelson has repeatedly tried to contact anyone at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California, but nobody has returned his phone calls or emails regarding what will surely be the cyberspace freedom of speech issue of the year.
“We taking our fight to Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA. on the 14th of October and intend on letting the entire world know about Facebook’s apparent policy of allowing these particular anti-Semitic/anti-Israel hate pages to still exist. Is in fact, a de facto endorsement of anti-Semitism, which is a shame for Facebook.”
A POTENTIAL SOCIAL MEDIA HOLOCAUST:
Mendelson estimates that today, of the half-billion Facebook membership, at least one fifth of that cyber-population are Jewish and/or pro-Israel; and it does make this writer wonder where the good business-sense here. There is little if any governmental regulation of social media companies, as they are privately owned businesses. The question for Facebook is different. Facebook is a publicly traded company and if their shareholders knew of Facebook’s seemingly willful ignorance to anti-Semitic hate pages, no doubt they would they feel quite differently about their favorite cash cow. Would they feel proud to own a piece of what some have termed, “ShameBook.
“I urge everyone to follow the few blogs I’ve written and hope they step up to the plate with us in this much needed protest. You can look for a phone number to call Facebook, but you won’t find one. They are very good at gathering our personal information, just like the Nazi’s did in pre-World War Two Europe, but Facebook can’t seem to put an end to such major flaws. Speak out!! We are now living in a brave new world, where social media is sidetracking the very values parents are trying to instill in their children. As far as I’m concerned, this is nothing less than an online Holocaust. Let’s do something before it’s too late.”
More on the Menlo Park Protest here. https://removehatefromfb.wordpress.com you will find a handful of blogs explaining this situation A-Z
And please sign the petition
Steven Alan Green is a comedian, podcast host and writes about stand-up comedy for The Jewish Journal online. stevenalangreen.com