As big tech (Sheryl Sandberg for Facebook and Jack Dorsey for Twitter) heads to Capital Hill (AGAIN) Wednesday to assure Congress (AGAIN) they’re doing everything to make social media a safe domain and deny any type of censorship, I can’t help but laugh. I don’t want to get into the fact that every time I mention the President’s name in any type of context on my Facebook page, I’m immediately banned for at least 24 hours. I do my best to keep my social media platforms as bi-partisan as possible so I decided the easiest thing to do was not mention Trump anymore, despite the various good he was doing for Israel and the Jewish people.
I do however actively expose blatant antisemites; this time Facebook punished me for doing so.
Early last week, a friend of mine shared a horrific text exchange between a young mother interviewing a woman, Alla Semenova (pictured), for a nanny position. During her paid trial, the mother claims Semenova made several anti-Semitic comments and was not hired for that reason. The below screenshots are the text messages sent by Senenova, who says she is a doctor from Siberia, to the mother after she was told she didn’t get the job.
Semenova: I hope you’re cursed Semenova: You can stick your apologies up your ass Semenova: How can you be such bastards [sic] Semenova: Bastards Semenova: It’s a shame Hitler didn’t finish you off now you torture good people Mother: It’s good I took a screenshot of your Facebook page and picture. I’m going to share your picture and SMS to as many Facebook groups with Russian and American mothers so people realize what sort of person you are. Semenova: What good can you expect from dirty Jews besides shit
I was first and foremost enraged with what I was reading; my family escaped the horrific anti-Semitism of the former Soviet Union and it had followed us to America. Secondly, as a mother to a young child myself, my mind immediately went to the horrific things this woman could be capable of given the opportunity to be a caregiver for a Jewish baby/child.
I shared her post in a few Facebook groups I was an admin of and within 12 hours, the post was shared thousands of times and reached over 100,000 people. The following morning I woke up to a notification from Facebook that I was banned for 3 days from posting, commenting, or using messenger as I “posted something that didn’t follow Community Standards” on “hate speech“.
I was FLOORED! I had successfully outed a rabid Jew hater and was being punished for it?! I immediately contacted Facebook and shortly received a reply back stating their action was a mistake and my account was immediately reactivated. I was relieved and went about my day; I heard rumors that Facebook was actively censoring pro Jewish and Israeli bloggers but never really had a significant run in myself with the tech giant.
As evening came, more and more people continued to share the post (the reach had exceeded 250,000 at that point) and I received another notification that Facebook had blocked me again for the same reason.
As Facebook continues to allow posts denying the Holocaust, refuses to remove pages such as “Fuck Israel” that clearly incite violence against Jews, and tries to silence bloggers like myself, I’m very curious what Sandberg will have to say tomorrow in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.