May 2, 2013
Facebook to Jews: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Was Wrong.
Facebook's PR agency says removing Anti-Semitic content will
cause "harm to the people who use our service."

    While many consider Facebook is the undisputed leader in social networking, its vast reach surely makes it an easy place to spread hate. Anyone can create a Facebook group at any time on any subject, and it is both impossible and impractical to monitor all posts. When improper posts are made, Facebook makes people jump through hoops to complain then you can wait 24-48 hours for a response. By then, however, the damage is done.

    Boycott Watch was approached by Michael Mendelson from Sunny Isles, Florida with complaints about anti-Semitic groups on Facebook. According to the complaint, several hate groups existed for a long time but Facebook would not remove them. Mr. Mendelson has been organizing groups to fight anti-Semitism on Facebook including one called Removing Hate Pages but he keeps hitting a wall when trying to get anti-Semitic content removed per the published Facebook guidelines. We examined the claim and found it to be true. On the right is an example of blatant anti-Semitic content on Facebook that Andrea Ragni of The Outcast Agency feels is acceptable and refuses to remove. Notice the comment on top:

    Boycott Watch spoke with Andrea Ragni of The Outcast Agency, which is the Public Relations agency hired by Facebook. As a rule, Boycott Watch does not like dealing with PR agencies because PR agents are consistently more interested in retaining their own jobs than actually resolving issues; which is what we first believed would only be the case here but as our research progressed we discovered a far worse situation. While some anti-Semitic groups were removed as a result of our complaint, we later realized we may have just been appeased so the PR agent could claim action was taken to resolve the issue. At first, Andrea Ragni did not appear to understand the gravity of the situation. We do not believe Facebook would approve groups with names such as "F#@! Israel" to exist, but for some odd reason Andrea Ragni felt the group with the openly vulgar and hate language is appropriate, not to mention in a media where children frequent. Citing Facebook policies did not matter to Andre Ragni and we could not figure out why.

    The lengthy email correspondence about the content of the hate pages included the photos above. I received a reply from Andrea Ragni of The Outcast Agency saying they consider calling Jews "dogs" being freedom of expression, and removing it would constitute "harm." Sadly, no matter how many times Boycott Watch brought up the fact that hate groups on Facebook are echoing the Nazi mantra of Jews being dogs, Andrea Ragni of The Outcast Agency did not care - it was as if she believed the Nazi comparison of Jews to dogs was acceptable. We even asked her if she accepted that Nazi mantra directly but she refused to respond.

    We also sent the Facebook spokesperson a famous quote of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as relayed in a story by Dr. Seymour Martin Lipset, as published in the December, 1969 (page 24) edition of Encounter magazine. The article "The Socialism of Fools: The Left, the Jews and Israel" states:

    "Shortly before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr., was in Boston on a fund-raising mission, and I had the good fortune to attend a dinner which was given for him in Cambridge...One of the young men present happened to make some remark against the Zionists. Dr. King snapped at him and said, "Don't talk like that! When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism!"

    As such, Rev. Dr. King would call the Facebook group Anti-Semitic. Therefore, since Facebook would not allow KKK groups, for example, I believe the "F-Israel" group too should be classified as a hate group and therefore be considered Hate Speech as defined in the Facebook community standards terms as follows: "Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition."

    Unfortunately, we were not able to contact Facebook officials directly, but one thing is certain - The Outcast Agency and Andrea Ragni in specific believe that it is permissible to allow hatred of Jews to flourish on Facebook despite it clearly being against Facebook policy.

    Meanwhile, Facebook has been inundated with complaints about pages such as this one but has yet to act on it. We believe these complaints end up at the desk of Andrea Ragni who apparently believes foul language against Jews is acceptable despite being against Facebook policy, believes hatred of Jews is acceptable on Facebook despite being against Facebook policy, who believes it is acceptable to refer to Jews as dogs the way the Nazis did, and who refused to learn the lessons of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

    This leads Boycott Watch to conclude Andrea Ragni is an anti-Semite and she therefore has no business being in charge of determining what is anti-Semitic or not, as she has demonstrated she allows Jews to be called dogs in the Nazi tradition.

    At Boycott Watch, we do not accept the response from any entity saying the removal of Anti-Semitic content will cause "harm to the people who use our service," which is the statement we received from Andrea Ragni. There is actual hate harm against Jews, and it is being allowed to flourish on Facebook thanks to Andrea Ragni and her employer The Outcast Agency.

    Fred Taub, the President of Boycott Watch said "This is far more than a case of defending free speech this created a safe-haven outlet to promote a Nazi mantra. Hate speech against any other group is banned per Facebook policies and would be removed, but in this case hate speech against Jews is allowed despite those policies. That is why this crossed the line to become blatant anti-Semitism. Facebook is being used as a springboard to promote hatred of Jews and an insider is protecting anti-Semitism. That is unless Facebook and Andrea Ragni of The Outcast Agency think Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was wrong. Boycotting Facebook is like trying to boycott water, so people need to stand up and demand an end to this scourge."

    As Boston Globe reporter Jeff Jacoby wrote in his article The cancer of anti-Semitism in Europe, "Anti-Semitism is like cancer; unchecked, it can metastasize and sicken the entire body." Boycott Watch therefore encourages people to both complain to Facebook online and to call The Outcast Agency at 415.392.8282, or their New York City office at 646.737.9921, and ask why Andrea Ragni is allowing and even protecting anti-Semitism on Facebook, and to demand the hate content is immediately removed. Zev Jabotonisky who was one of the founders of Israel would often say "silence is despicable." We must not be silent to anti-Semitism.
Click Here to read the follow-up article with more photos

Boycoting Peace
by Fred Taub
President, Boycott Watch
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