Is Facebook Biased Against Israel and Jews? It would seem so. Sheila Kugel’s column in today’s WSJ talks about a test of FB bias by Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center). (see http://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-and-israel-whats-not-to-like-lots-it-seems-1452641834)
The Center created two identical FB pages: one anti-Israeli and one anti-Palestinian. The content of each page was the same; the only difference was the group the page hated. For example the anti-Israeli page read “Revenge against the Jewish enemy,” and “Death to all the Jews” while the anti-Palestinian page read “Revenge against the Arab enemy,” and “Death to all the Arabs.”
Two days later Shurat HaDin reported both hate cites to Facebook asking that they be shut down in violation of FB standards. Within 24 hours FB has closed the anti-Palestinian page but sent a message regarding the anti-Israeli page, which was quickly becoming a magnet for Jew hatred in general, defending the cite saying that it was not in violation of Facebook standards. Once the anti-Semitic bias of FB was revealed by Shurat HaDin, Facebook did an about face and closed the Jew-hating page as well.
What do I make of this?
First, I’m not surprised. While Arab-hatred is still (if barely) politically incorrect, Jew–hatred is allowed and growing. Especially among young liberal Americans who, I imagine, are called upon to uphold Facebook’s standards. They are still appalled by anti–Arab and anti–Muslim sentiment, but not by anti-Israel or anti-Jewish sentiment. Second, Arabs should take no comfort in this. I suspect it won’t be long before open hatred of both groups is PC.
When I shared the article with an acquaintance I was told, “What did you expect? Haters hate.” Perhaps, but do we have to give them a forum?