Wednesday, February 05, 2020


Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers fights hatred and antisemitism on campus in the Bay Area, so I was surprised when I tried to share a recent piece on Facebook, Glorifying Jew Killers at Cal, and got this error message, instead:
Your message couldn't be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.
There was, of course, nothing abusive about this piece, except for the fact that it describes a display in the Berkeley Student Union that is intolerably abusive to Jewish students. The display consists of a series of photos and captions celebrating terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. While the display was largely met with indifference by the student body and UC Berkeley administrators, some Jews decided to fight back, by adding context to the display, with explanatory notes.

Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers next refers us to a passionate response by student Maya Reuven in the Daily Cal student newspaper, ASUC should condemn Bears for Palestine’s display. Here, Reuven describes the actual deeds of the terrorists depicted in that display. How Rasmea Odeh bombed and killed two Jewish students shopping for groceries. The way Fatima Bernawi tried to blow up a movie theater in downtown Jerusalem. The fact that Leila Khaled was involved in more than one hijacking attempt.
The student writer asks why Bears for Palestine, in our current climate of antisemitism, in the wake of Poway, Tree of Life, and Jersey City, could not instead laud activists for coexistence and peace. People like, for instance, Bassam Eid. These are pertinent questions that are worthy of our consideration.
Questions that should not be shut down by Facebook playing Big Brother.
We know very well what happened here. Those who celebrate the Jew-killers reported Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers to the powers that be at Facebook. The report was accepted at face value, and no one bothered to look further. Or perhaps they looked further and hate Israel and the Jews, so decided to use their power at Facebook to shut down someone who fights for Israel and against hatred.
In my search for some way to work around this unjust decision, I then attempted to share the homepage of Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers: http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.com/ and received this error message:
You can't share this link
proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.com

Your post couldn't be shared, because this link goes against our Community Standards
If you think this doesn't go against our Community Standards let us know.



I duly clicked the “let us know” link and in the box provided, explained that Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers, far from being abusive, is a good website that is fighting against hatred and antisemitism. I sent off my comment and received a generic thanks:
Thanks for providing feedback about this experience.

In other words, “We’ll probably never read what you took the time to write us, but we know it makes you feel good to vent. You’re welcome.”
Not quite ready to give up on Facebook as a reasonable entity (Ha!), I decided to click on the link to “Learn more about what happens when you’re blocked or your content is removed.”
Here, I was led to an explanation of blocking, how long it lasts, and a lot of blah, blah, blah, about appropriate behavior on Facebook and how one might improve in order to be acceptable in future. Below was a series of boxes to click. I decided on “This solution doesn’t work,” and left a comment:

“Anyone who hates you personally or who disagrees with your politics can report your content as abusive, when it isn't, as a way to punish and hurt you and you have absolutely no recourse against this decision. There is no appeals system. It's actually a hateful policy that allows abuse to flourish in the Facebook community. This policy silences voices and shuts down freedom of speech.”

I clicked submit and my comment disappeared. In its stead, was a short message:
Thanks! Your feedback helps improve this answer for everyone.
I had gone as far as I could go. I could only hope that the ban on Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers lasts only 30 days, as Facebook’s explanation on blocked content suggests. But we all know that if someone wants to silence them once more, all they have to do is report the website again, and Facebook offers its users no recourse for appeal.

Several years ago, I decided to hold a one-day ban of Facebook, until they shut down a certain antisemitic page (the name of the page was something like "Kill the Jews"). I had thousands of people join the event, but when Facebook caved in and shut down the antisemitic page, I deleted the event.
Can you guess what happened next? Facebook restored the antisemitic page the very next day.
Many of us hate Facebook and use it anyway. Because the alternatives, for instance Twitter, Gab, and MeWe, just don’t give us the same satisfaction. At some point, however, the injustice of Facebook policies, and the lack of recourse to appropriate solutions may just drive us over the edge, and make us leave en masse.
Facebook is, on the other hand, such a monolith, that I wouldn’t suggest you hold your breath.

UPDATE: Btsalmo suggests that as many people as possible fill out a report at Facebook (see: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/571927962827151) stating that Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers (http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.com/) and all content there, is safe and not abusive.


We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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