Neviim Tovim, blogs by Gillian Gould Lazarus

Tell Facebook

Posted on: August 7, 2020

I made some representations to Facebook this week, reporting items as hate speech. Facebook requires that, when making a report, you categorize hate speech as being against a religion, a nationality or an ethnicity. I was unsure which to go for, so I selected as best I could according to context.

However, Facebook found that even Truthers Against Zionist Lobbies does not go against their community standards. They suggested I might like to unfollow the group so as not to be offended by it or to reason with members of the group, putting my point of view.

My concern about the Facebook groups loosely connected by their continuing idolization of Jeremy Corbyn is not that they attract bigots and antisemites, which they do. After all, bigots and racists have to go somewhere and social media is certainly the place for them. What worries me is the alacrity shown by June, Pat, Sue, Margaret, Janet, Keith, Dennis, Barry and Alan who absorb like blotting paper everything the group teaches them about Jewish control of political parties and institutions and parrot it back in numberless comments accumulating a substantial quantity of ‘likes’. They have even learned to say ‘Zionist’ or ‘Israeli’ (variant spellings included) instead of Jewish; for example, they state erroneously that Keir Starmer’s wife is Israeli and so is Sir Trevor Chinn, because – so they say -they live in fear of being thought antisemitic (more variant spellings than seems plausible). To fault Lady Starmer and Sir Trevor as being Jewish would be antisemitic in their book, so they amend the word to ‘Israeli’ or ‘Zionist’.

There are two or three who argue back. By chance, they happen to be Jewish and they call out the more intemperate examples of antisemitism, conspiratorial fantasy and factual error. It goes without saying that they are dismissed as Zionists but a tendency over the last few months is that they are called antisemites by the Jew haters on the forums. I have written about the inversion of accusations, ‘antisemitic in itself’ being the regular reply when someone defends Israel against the wilder accusations. The title of that blog post is Through A Glass Darkly, written back to front and it can be seen here:

Who are June, Barry, Alan, Margaret et cetera, who do not produce original posts but offer ready support to those who do? Sometimes, they write a little bit about themselves. Some are in their seventies, some over eighty. Many were Labour members for decades (like myself! Who knew they were there?); others joined only for the sake of Mr Corbyn. None of them will support Labour now as they know it is run by Tel Aviv and that Keir Starmer does the bidding of the so-called Israel Lobby.

How could they know such a thing?

The answer is crystal clear. They read it on Facebook. The young may be reading school textbooks crammed with historical errors but the Facebook elderly have social media as their University of the Third Age.

Like Twitter and Instagram, Facebook is too big to be controlled but they profess that they have community standards. Let us remind them from time to time, or hatred will be the death of us.

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  • James Casserly: Unfortunately there seems to be no middle ground, no nuance and even less humanity on Twitter. Like you, there are people I have no time for, some I a
  • keithmarr: G < div dir="ltr">Twitter is such a cesspit you can more or less guarantee any opini
  • Gillian Gould Lazarus: You're Nathan Hull, aren't you, an abusive troll who uses the alias Gerard O'Neill?
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