A murderous anti-Semitic theme appeared on Facebook Sunday, when a user named
“Alex Cookson” launched an open invitation to an “event” called “Kill a Jew
The page on the popular social networking Web site urged users to
violence “anywhere you see a Jew” between July 4 and July 22. A large image of a
swastika was placed at the top of the page. Under the heading “description,”
Cookson wrote, “You know the drill guys.”
It was the fourth time that a
call to murder Jews had been put on Facebook within recent days.
attracted a torrent of anti-Semitic responses.
“Can’t wait to rape the
dead baby Jews,” one user wrote.
Another user posted images of corpses
piled on one another. A third user posted quotes by Adolf Hitler.
hours, however, a large number of Israeli users converged on the site
comments on the page, with some expressing their disgust, and others
Cookson and his supporters.
Others still expressed their anger at the
page by sending profanities and threatening to track down anti-Semitic
According to the Jewish Internet Defense Web site (JIDF), the page
is one of a number “kill a Jew” Facebook pages that have been launched
subsequently removed following complaints in recent days.
Appletree, founder of JIDF, told The
that incitement to
anti-Semitic murder was a prevalent phenomenon on Facebook, and that not
was being done to stop it.
“I feel it’s very dangerous.
part of a long-running campaign that we’ve fighting for well over two
“They’re taken down but they come back and they’re
determined to keep them up.
It’s very dangerous,” he
Appletree said online anti- Semitism has already helped spur
violent incidents, such as the 2007 assault on Holocaust author Elie
San Francisco by a Holocaust denier, and the gun attack on the Holocaust
in Washington by a white supremacist armed with a rifle, which claimed
of a security guard.
“This incitement has been the precursor to violence
against Jews,” he said.
On his Web site, Appletree wrote, “This is
precisely why Facebook needs to take more proactive measures (ie.
accounts responsible for, and taking part, in, this material).
must implement IP bans on people involved in such material. Finally, law
enforcement should get involved, Facebook should be subpoenaed, the IP’s
people threatening and inciting violence should be obtained, and legal
should be immediately pursued.”
Appletree told The Post
could implement technologies that are sensitive to keywords which could
such pages from being loaded.
“Facebook is not proactive enough,” he
Facebook said it would review the event page in question after
being alerted to it by the Post
Facebook removed the page from its site on Sunday evening for
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes added, “Unfortunately ignorant
people exist and we absolutely feel a social responsibility to silence
Facebook if their statements turn to direct hate. That’s why we have
that prohibit hateful content and we have built a robust reporting
infrastructure and an expansive team to review reports and remove content
Noyes added, “We take our Statement of Rights and
Responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to remove reported
that violates our policies. Specifically, we’re sensitive to content
includes pornography, bullying, hate speech, and actionable threats of
“The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate
balance between giving our more than 400 million users the freedom to
themselves and maintaining a safe and trusted environment. When groups
make real threats or statements of hate we remove them. We encourage
report anything they feel violates our policies using the report links
throughout the site.”
In 2009, Facebook came under fire for refusing to
remove groups that promoted Holocaust denial on the social networking