Dissenting on Facebook
A Jewish conspiracy? Well, sorta
Three repressive Middle Eastern regimes recently felt threatened by the popular social-networking Website. In the West Bank, a blogger used Facebook as his prime platform to publish Koranic satires under the name “God Almighty”; he was arrested by the Palestinian Authority (naturally, a group has sprouted in solidarity). Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia briefly blocked the site, saying its content had “crossed the line.” And Iran’s government released a video arguing that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Jewish founder, is secretly working for Mossad.
Of course, as Liel Leibovitz argued in these digital pages, there is something inherently Jewish about Facebook and other Web 2.0 platforms. And something inherently threatening: <--more-->
Under the influence of Wahabism, the new zealots find in Web 2.0 a terrifying threat to an intolerant and hierarchical stream of Islam that spends as much energy crushing intrafaith competition as it does opposing foreign influence. Unlike China, which objects to social media platforms and search engines only when they are used to disseminate anti-government messages … they know that the most radical thing about [Google founder Sergey] Brin, Zuckerberg, and the technologies they created is that they encourage constant commentary, ongoing debate, endless involvement. It’s a way of thinking that is very bad for oppressive corporations, zealous theocracies, and anyone else wishing to exert complete control over information. But it is very good for the Jews.
Palestinian Blogger Angers West Bank Muslims [NYT]
Saudi Arabia Blocks Facebook [Ynet]
Video dispatch 2: Iran: Zuckerberg created Facebook on behalf of the Mossad[Mideast Dispatch Archive]
Related: Web Jew.0 [Tablet Magazine]
Plus Gates pushes for sanctions instead of bombing, and more in the news
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.