Anti-Semite Targets Kentucky Mom & Author on Facebook

June 24, 2020

Facebook and other social media companies continue to allow anti-Semitic and other hateful content to proliferate on their platforms. Social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and others all have a set of community standards and guidelines that allegedly prohibit users from engaging in hate speech on their platforms. Recently, a Jewish mom and author from Kentucky was the latest victim of anti-Semitism on Facebook

Time and again, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) and many of our grassroots members continue to be targeted by anti-Semitic hate speech through comments, messages, memes, and posts. When reporting this anti-Semitic content to Facebook, CAM has always received replies stating that the hateful content did not go against their community standards and would not be taken down. Recently, CAM was contacted by a Facebook user, Leah Huete de Maines, to report an anti-Semitic incident that occurred on her Facebook.

Leah is a Jewish author and poet in Kentucky, who had recently shared a post about anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement on her professional author page on Facebook.

In the comments of her post, a Facebook user by the name of Nathan Thompson posted a vile anti-Semitic meme alluding to Jewish people being burned to ash in crematoria during the Holocaust (shown below).

Horrified, Leah immediately reported the post to Facebook as hateful content. Sadly, Facebook sent her the following message, refusing to take down Nathan Thompson’s post stating, “…the content you reported does not go against our standards…”

If content suggestive of Jews being turned into ashes, does not violate Facebook’s community standards, what kind of content would violate those guidelines?

Speaking to the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, Leah said, “As a Jewish person I feel very violated and angered that Facebook would not remove this anti-Semitic, hurtful, and dangerous meme from my page. This meme obviously alludes to Jewish people being murdered and burned to ash during the Holocaust.”

Hate is spreading at a rapid pace across the internet and on social media platforms. According to the ADL, anti-Semitic incidents reached an all-time high in the United States last year, with an overall increase of 12% from the previous year and an astonishing 56% increase in anti-Semitic assaults.

Investigators have stated that the shooters who attacked and killed Jewish-Americans at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Chabad of Poway near San Diego, and the kosher market in Jersey city, were all radicalized online and posted about their intentions on social media before committing their heinous crimes. These three deadly anti-Semitic attacks all occurred in the United States in the last year and half alone. Hate the begins on social media is turning into real world violence against Jews.

Leah’s experience understandably caused her much stress. She suffers from a a rare Jewish genetic disorder called Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) and the stress and anxiety of being targeted by an anti-Semite triggered an FMF flare-up that caused her to be sick in bed on pain medications.

People close to Leah advised her to just delete the post and block the poster. However, Leah said, “I feel like more action needs to be taken. Facebook should not permit such hate speech on its site. I am so saddened by the growing anti-Semitism worldwide. I fear for myself, my children, and our people in general.”

The time has come for social media companies to be held accountable for the incitement to violence that occurs on their platforms and to institute more robust safety protocols that ban anti-Semitic and other hate speech.

Sign the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement’s petition to put an end to anti-Semitism on social media platforms here. Have you witnessed or experienced a recent act of anti-Semitism? We want to know about it. You can let us know by filing a report here.

Category:United States