Over 400 people have said they will participate in a live protest at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters at 10 a.m. on Oct. 14, according to an email sent to Examiner.com Thursday by David R. Usher, president of the conservative Center for Marriage Policy. The protest, according to organizer Michael Mendelson, was sparked by Facebook's refusal to remove anti-Semitic hate pages aimed primarily at Jews, Jewish Americans and supporters of Israel.
In an article at tlvfaces.com, Mendelson said that while Facebook routinely monitors and removes pages targeting gays and African-Americans, the social media giant has turned a blind eye to pages that attack Jews.
"Ironically," Steven Alan Green wrote, "the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is Jewish himself."
In response to the onslaught of anti-Semitic pages, Mendelson created "Help Report Hate & Anti-Semitic Pages" in an effort to fight fire with fire.
The page currently has over 12,000 supporters and describes itself as a "a boulder rolling down the hill, picking up speed, getting bigger and bigger and bigger."
“Just as there is only so much one can do to supervise their children’s use due to technology, you can’t stop these hate groups," Mendelson said. "They keep popping up like cockroaches or weeds. Fortunately for the African American or Gay American, when enough people complain to Facebook, the pages are red-flagged and removed. All we’re asking for is the same respectful treatment towards the Jewish People, and implore Facebook to remove anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate pages. It’s astonishing to me they still exist and flourish on Facebook. And, it’s something that parents of young teens need to be made aware of. Our children’s minds are precious and should be protected from such poison, whether it’s a personal or racial or religious attack. They are, after all our children.”
Mendelson told Examiner he doesn't believe Facebook fully understands their site is being abused to foment hate. Moreover, he said, the issue is one of life and death.
"Just as more than one unfortunate and confused teenager who committed suicide as the result of hate pages targeting them on Facebook, hate pages targeting minority groups do hurt individuals in equal measure. Targeted groups are made up of individuals. Allowing vitriolic and targeted hate group pages such as 'F*#k Israel' to stay up online is nothing less than a bureaucratic abomination. We want them taken down immediately. This is our message to Facebook,” he said in a statement issued in late September.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is nothing less than an online Holocaust," he added. "Let’s do something before it’s too late.”
Mendelson's protest is scheduled to take place one day after another -- somewhat noisier -- protest being planned by the patriot group Truckers to Shutdown America.
That group, upset with seeing their page taken down after administrators posted "Godspeed" and "God Bless America," announced in September it plans to hold a convoy at the company's Menlo Park office from Oct. 11-13.
Mendelson believes that by allowing the hate pages to remain live, the social media site has effectively given a "de facto endorsement of anti-Semitism," which he calls "a shame for Facebook.”
“Until changes are implemented, Facebook will be known as ‘ShameBook,'" he told Examiner. "We’re confident once they pay attention, they will do the right thing.”
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