December 2015 scroll article

Social media impacts almost everyone’s life. It has been defined as “the many relatively inexpensive and widely accessible electronic tools that enable anyone to publish and access information, collaborate on a common effort, or build relationships.” For many, it is a communication tool unlike anything that I had access to in my younger days. While there is a diversity of opinions, topics and more, this has been a prime area of infiltration for terrorist groups and organizations whose goal it is to incite violence, hate and chaos against Jews. Recently the Simon Wiesenthal Center met with officials from Facebook and discussed the steps being taken to block or remove terrorist instruction manuals or other heinous postings. Facebook has mostly been receptive to these requests with the exception of their position that ‘Holocaust deniers’ have the right to be present on Facebook as a part of ‘legitimate discourse’ instead of acknowledging that this is ‘hate speech.’ YouTube responds promptly to Simon Wiesenthal Center’s complaints about videos promoting terrorism and usually removes them. Recently, YouTube removed the Hamas channel following a request by both the SWC and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The provocative channel featured a video in which lyrics to a popular Eyal Golan song were replaced with “…and the most important, the most important/is to wipe out the Zionists at every site/ and the most important the most important/ is their defeat on site.” This verse was coupled with video that depicted recent terrorist attacks while praising the terrorists. SWC’s campaign recently led to Twitter and Instagram removing pro-terrorist postings. A diagram depicting “Lethal parts for stabbing…Heroes of the Intifadah” or other terrorist postings or videos need to be stopped with the utmost vigilance. Social media should not serve as an additional terrorist weapon.

Neal David, President