Israel / 31-07-2008
Israel - Facebook: 'Anti-Semitic' group hijacked by Jewish force
An anti-Israeli Facebook group that once had more than 48,000 members is being “destroyed” by a secretive group called the Jewish Internet Defense Force.
The force took control of the "Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country" Facebook group and is steadily deleting its members.
The group, which the force claims was promoting anti-Semitic hatred, now has fewer than 20,000 members and the figure is continuing to fall.
Its old profile photo - a map of Palestine - has been replaced with an image of an Israeli fighter jet, and its front page contains a statement from the JIDF. The group's location has been changed to "Jerusalem, Israel".
“This group was one of the vilest, antisemitic, pro-terrorist sites on the internet,” the statement reads.
“Despite thousands of user complaints over the course of eighteen months, Face book allowed this group and its ubiquitous antisemitic lies to flourish," it continues.
A member of the JIDF identifying himself as David told the Jerusalem Post newspaper that it managed to take control of the Facebook group after its old administrators – who set up and managed the site – left.
"Ultimately, it was a result of our enemies' stupidity and our timing, persistence and determination more than anything else,"
The JIDF claims more than 5,000 members worldwide. It was established in 2000 to promote pro-Israeli coverage on the internet during the second intifada, and has challenged content it deems anti-Semitic on websites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
Facebook had declined to take the “Israel is not a country!” group down, saying it did not take action against “legitimate political discourse”, according to the JIDF.