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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

The Epidemic of Arab Terror and its Cure

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

When everyone began trying to understand the waves of Arab violence and terror hitting Israel, all sorts of explanations were proposed.

Personally, I’m sticking with simple bloodlust, as I’ve pointed out before.

Yes, there is the Islamic and Arab cultural baggage that fuels their fervor, but it’s always been bloodlust that sends them over the edge, moving from slogans to concrete actions.

But the other question is, what ignites this Sudden Jihad Syndrome, where repeatedly, a middle-class Arab from Jerusalem or other Israeli cities, wakes up and decides to stab a Jew or run him or her over?

I’m pointing out that the terrorists are middle-class Arabs for a reason.

The Arab scholar Bassam Tawil began looking into the family lives of these terrorists. He visited their homes and discovered that they didn’t live in poverty, they weren’t uneducated people, they weren’t jobless.

In Tawil’s words, they were “leading comfortable lives, with unlimited access to education and work.” They were from normative, middle class Arab homes.

Most were educated, popular, good-looking, had jobs, and their families are stable and financially secure members of their communities.

So what drives a normal, middle-class Arab young man or woman to suddenly wake up, take a knife out of his mother’s kitchen and get in his car to go kill Jews?

Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” has been on my mind for a while now (I don’t have a copy in front of me, someone borrowed it and didn’t return it). Gladwell talks about “epidemics” and what makes them happen – what is the impetus that “jolts” a stable situation out of equilibrium – in our case, a low level of violence, to almost daily stabbings and vehicular attacks by a particular kind of person, who might otherwise sit next to you on the bus or light rail on the way to work, or serve you in the store or restaurant you frequent.

What triggered my memory is a story Gladwell tells in his book of a suicide epidemic that hit Micronesia, also known as the Werther effect. It is a spike and cluster of suicides in a community that follow a well-publicized suicide.

Wikipedia describe it as:

The Werther effect not only predicts an increase in suicide, but the majority of the suicides will take place in the same or a similar way as the one publicized. The more similar the person in the publicized suicide is to the people exposed to the information about it, the more likely the age group or demographic is to die by suicide. The increase generally happens only in areas where the suicide story was highly publicized. Upon learning of someone else’s suicide, many people decide that action is appropriate for them as well, especially if the publicized suicide was of someone in a similar situation as them.

There’s another similar epidemic, now called the Columbine effect, where the killers idealize the original massacre, try to duplicate it, and more so, try to improve upon it to reach it’s idealized form as they imagine it.

I can’t imagine a more fitting description for what we are facing in Israel.

An Arab runs some Jews over, gets out of the car and then tries to stab the Jews, the Arab terrorist is then shot and killed, or alternatively, an Arab takes his mother’s knife, walks around, stabs a Jew, the terrorist is then shot and killed. The story gets elaborated on, that the Jews planted the knife, or the breaks failed. The video/photo/story is then posted to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Attack. Kill. Post. Watch. Repeat.

One of the proposed solutions in communities where these suicide epidemics hit, is for the local media to stop reporting the incidents, and that helps end the epidemic. Of course, in the age of social media, that’s damn near impossible, so the situation just feeds on itself, until some other factor changes, and it peters out.

Gladwell discusses three possible areas of change: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context.

The Law of the Few: These are the trend-setters that first start an idea and the social connectors who get the idea out to their wider group of friends and followers.

The Stickiness Factor: This is the slogan. A contagious message connected to the act that keeps the act in mind. It could be some minor tweak to a well-worn message that suddenly gives it impact and for some reason turns it into an earworm that won’t get out of your head.

The Power of Context: This is what you see around you. People act and react based on the physical and social environmental cues around them. Our current situation fits this formula (and the previous waves fit similar formulas).

The Arabs see cool, middle-class Arabs suddenly getting up and killing a Jew using one of two easy methods, the youth gets killed, it gets posted on the internet by key social media connectors, and then widely distributed and watched – the Law of the Few.

The Arabs link the attacks to a slogan – in this wave’s case, the Jews are changing the status quo (which every time Netanyahu says that he isn’t, but uses those words, he triggers them even more). A second message has also developed which is “the Jews planted the knife” – The Stickiness Factor.

And finally, the Arab community hears repeatedly from their imams and in their mosques, on social media and at home, how the Jews are executing innocent Arabs and planting knives near their bodies, and they must defend Al Aqsa which the Jews are destroying. The returned bodies get a hero’s funerals. Other terrorists get streets and schools named after them by the PA government, and their jailed terrorists get healthy salaries. Those are the constant environmental cues around them, telling them that Arabs must take action against the Jews, and it’s OK and even heroic to do so – the Power of Context.

These three rules defining what pushes an act over the tipping point, turning it into an epidemic, can perhaps also provide clues on how to end the epidemic.

The Law of the Few: We have four “guilty parties” in this case, the people videoing the events, the people posting the videos to the “right” groups and pages, the social media platforms and the newspapers. You can’t have newspapers not report the latest terrorist attack, but perhaps they could be less gruesome about their reporting. Similarly, the popular social media platforms and video sharing platforms could be told to block and remove the videos. But alternative social-sharing platforms will just pop-up or become popular, if the current ones start restricting usage.

One could go after the people making and posting the videos, but again, it’s a widespread phenomena.

So we may be stuck with limited ability to affect this rule, but it’s worth looking into, nonetheless.

The Stickiness Factor: The message is the message. Proving it false clearly doesn’t work, and in fact even antagonizes them more, perhaps due to the cognitive dissonance it evinces.

We may be stuck with no ability to change their message, and the best move is to not even discuss it, or try to react to it – Netanyahu should not have even talked about the status quo or the Temple Mount.

The Power of Context: The environment is something we actually can change and affect.

If no terrorist bodies are returned, they can’t hold public celebrations.

If imams are inciting hatred and publicly repeating the message then isolate and arrest them.

If the messages are being transferred through social media and video sharing platforms, then identify those audiences most likely to be affected and temporarily shut down access, ranging from WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube, to internet and cellular access in specific neighborhoods and phones until things calm down.

When Israel put up the temporary wall in Jeruslaem and threatened to revoke residency rights from the terrorists and their families, that changed the environment, and caused those who understood what that meant for their lives to influence and control those family members more susceptible to the terror meme.

Israel disrupted the environment.

Israel non-violently forced the families to change the conversation. They still hate Jews, and they aren’t any less scared of dying, but the conversation now also says there’s too high a price to pay for heroically acting on the terror, and the rest of the family would suffer unacceptably.

A comparable price tag can be found for the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, which would similarly disrupt the conversational environment that provides positive context for the attacks.

We’re facing an epidemic of terror.

But now that we understand it, we have the tools to control it and keep it in check, if we’re prepared to use them.

Israeli Anti-Facebook Price Tag Campaign Graffiti: ‘Blood On Your Hands’

Monday, October 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) Operation Price Tag against Facebook Israel was carried out in the early AM Sunday, by Rotem Gaz, aka “Mark Zuckerberg Israel,” Mizbala.com reported. Gaz sprayed red graffiti and attached sticky labels reading “Blood on your hands” on some of the walls of 22 Rothschild Tower in Tel Aviv, where the offices of Facebook in Israel reside. Facebook Israel CEO Adi Soffer Teeni last March rented four whole floors in the prestigious building.

Facebook Israel with the red Price Tag graffiti

Facebook Israel with the red Price Tag graffiti. Photo credit: 21.7K קראו

Rotem Gaz is well known in the corridors of the global Facebook management, after, back in December 2011, he had changed his name legally to Mark Zuckerberg, as part of a campaign designed to undermine Facebook’s lawsuit against him for allegedly peddling “likes” and other services at variance with the juggernaut social network regulations. The threat of a publicity blowout for the Zuckerberg V. Zuckerberg court case worked, and Facebook dropped the lawsuit.

Now Gaz the Terrible is back with yet another campaign against his favorite social network, in view of the widespread wave of incitement taking place on Facebook, with Arab terrorists calling for the murder of Israelis and Jews. In recent weeks a wave of terror has taken over the social network, with hundreds of thousands of pages of incitement to harm Israeli citizens and Jews worldwide—unimpeded by Facebook’s clear standards that forbid such presentations.

It appears that the social network representative in Israel is choosing to ignore the incitement violators and disclaims any responsibility for such displays. Last Thursday Mizbala.com published a recording made by Israel Hayom reporters and other media organizations in Israel, who turned to Facebook’s PR staff as well as to the CEO herself, and were dismissed, their questions were ignored, and at one point they were hung up on.

Despite repeated reports by hundreds of thousands of Israelis, demanding the removal of pages promoting hate and violence, Facebook in most cases allows this content to remain online unmolested, and sometimes removes arbitrarily and without explanation content by Israeli users who try to fight incitement.

A case in point: Liat Alon, a popular Facebook user, like many Israelis received death threats during the first week in October, 2015. A Chat note sent to Alon by a Hamas operator said (Numerous Hebrew mistakes corrected): “Today I will be in your home and your family will burn. Palestine is our land and we have the right to live here or we’ll burn here. We’ve waited for this hour, and it is time already to meet and send you to Hell.”

The response status from Alon read: “The men of today are so aggressive.” The status earned 5,000 likes and hundreds of shares, and then something weird happened, reflecting what happens when Facebook uses robots to monitor its pages: Alon’s truly funny message was removed by Facebook, because it did not meet the social network’s community standards, and her page was blocked for 24 hours—while the perpetrator who openly threatened her life, part of hundreds of thousands of profiles, real and fake, continues to operate freely.

Gaz issued a message saying: “As long as Facebook maintains its refusal to remove pages that incite to the murder of Israelis and Jews, the blood of the victims will be in its head and the heads of its managers. This post was sprayed on the wall of Facebook’s Tel Aviv offices by the Israeli Mark Zuckerberg and its meaning is clear: stop the aid and the stage you provide inciters and maybe it will help to reduce the flames, Keep refusing to remove the pages of hatred, and the victims’ blood will be on your head.”

Facebook Refusing to Delete Arab Hate Messages

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Blogger DoubleTapper (Blogging from Israel on Guns, Weapons, Militaria, Defense, and Homeland Security) reported receiving on October 12 an unpleasant, unsolicited message from a Facebook user named مليون مطالب لإغلاق السفارة الصهيونية في الاردن, which, according to Google Translate means, curiously enough, “Millions demand closure of the Zionist embassy in Jordan.”

The Arabic opening paragraph urged readers to send this message to the pages of soldiers and settlers. The message enclosed was in atrociously bad Hebrew, which is common in Hamas-generated messages, where the hate is visceral, but the syntax stinks. The following translation, then only provides the gist and doesn’t do the near-illiterate text justice:

“Zionist enemy. In the name of the resistance cell in the occupied territories.

“Thanks to God and thanks to our experts, who prepared a [not clear] that exposes the website as soon as a person open to the message.

“We will send you, Jew, resistant uniforms that stab the Jew (very difficult to discern what theis means). Or we’ll kill one of your family members identified on your site.

“We have prepared for this uprising in recent years, to fight with you.

“There’s no hiding, fleeing will not spare you.”

“I reported it to Facebook,” DoubleTapper wrote in an email to JewishPress.com. “They said it’s not a violation of their community standards. I subsequently received a slew of private messages threatening me, all directly quoting the post.”

DoubleTapper continued: “I carefully documented All of the above and shared with my 300k Facebook fans who reported the offending page and post to Facebook. They all received the same response as I did.”

Which leads him to the conclusion that “Facebook is dangerous and slanted against Jews.”

We checked the Facebook Community Standards section, and it states clearly:

“We remove content, disable accounts, and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety.” Is it possible that the atrocious grammar skills of the Jordanians dispensing death threats made it difficult for the Facebook execs to take action? Could this, possibly, be a new approach for terrorists: you can get away with hate messages, as long as they’re misspelled and hard to figure out?

Protests Lead to Removal of Hamas Incitement from Social Media

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Protests from various American Jewish organizations have led to the removal of Hamas incitement from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper urged the public to report hate sites on social media platforms which are fueling the current spate of attacks in Israel.

The rabbis also denounced:

Unfair and one-sided portrayal of Israeli terror victims in the media; the U.S. State Department’s outrageous depiction of the current situation as a ‘cycle of violence;’

The use of social media platforms to celebrate murderous attacks against innocent people and instructional terrorism tutorial videos; and

The BDS’ movement’s endorsement of the barbaric acts of terrorism and renewed calls to boycott Israel.

Before Attack, Jerusalem Terrorist Cited ‘Third Intifada’ on Facebook

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

A day before he set out to attack Israeli Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem, 19-year-old Muhnad Halabi apparently had already declared a “third intifada,” according to the Hebrew-language Ynet news site.

The young Jerusalem Arab terrorist attacked a Jewish family Saturday night as they were walking back from the Western Wall to the Lion’s Gate on HaGai Street.

“From what I can see, a third intifada has broken out. What is happening in Al Aqsa is what is happening in [all] our holy places and the way of our Prophet, and what is happening to the women of Al Aqsa is what is happening to our mothers and sisters.

“I don’t think the people will accept this humiliation. The people will rise up in an intifada,” he wrote.

Halabi murdered two people — including the 35-year-old father who he stabbed over and over, along with several others — before he grabbed the father’s gun and then shot family members and a group of tourists standing nearby.

He seriously wounded a 22-year-old mother and a 2-year-old toddler, who suffered a bullet wound to the leg.

Russia, Israel’s New Northern Neighbor, Bombs Targets in Syria [video]

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Russian war planes bombed the Syrian city of Homs Wednesday morning, shortly after an announcement from the Russian Federation Council that it approved “military force abroad” that supposedly is to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).

Sky News Arabic quoted Syrian opposition forces as charging that Russian war planes led the strike on rebel-held areas in the city.

A video on Facebook, seen below, shows the aftermath of the bombing, in which at least 30 people reportedly were killed. Several of the dead were children.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that Russian force in Syria will be limited to fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).

Israel has put Putin on notice that it will not tolerate any stray fire on Israel, but Russian control of Syrian airspace places both Israeli and American air forces in immediate danger.

An American defense official told Fox News Wednesday that the Obama administration has rejected a Russian demand that the U.S. Air Force withdraw from Syrian airspace.

Israel in the past several years has carried out several aerial attacks on Syrian and Iranian weapons headed for Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

The bold move by Russia to enter the Syrian civil war fills a vacuum that the Obama administration refused to fill, even when President Barack Obama promised he would bomb Syria after it was proven that Assad was using chemical weapons.

He backed down from the threat, explaining that there was no need to carry out operations because Assad had supposedly turned over his chemical and biological weapons after coaxing from Russia.

The Obama administration is playing with an amputated hand in Syria. After repeatedly stating the Assad must go, Kerry now is accepting his remaining in power for a “transitional period.”

The London Telegraph reported Tuesday that the “United States is considering a possible deal whereby Russia and Iran would stop Syria’s regime dropping barrel bombs on civilians in return for concessions from Washington.”

Bayit Yehudi Files Criminal Complaint Over Incitement on Facebook

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The Bayit Yehudi party has filed a criminal complaint with police over alleged incitement by far-left Facebook users against chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

Bennett’s Facebook page was saturated with threats by leftists allegedly urging violence against the minister, according to a statement released Wednesday by the party.

The posts also encouraged violence against other politicians as well. The threats have since been deleted.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bayit-yehudi-files-criminal-complaint-over-incitement-on-facebook/2015/08/05/

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