Jewish Internet Defense Force


Jewish Internet Defense Force

Infobox Website
name = The Jewish Internet
Defense Force (JIDF)

caption = Logo of JIDF
type = Online activism, Israel advocacy
url = [http://www.thejidf.org/ www.TheJIDF.org]
slogan = "Leading the Fight Against Antisemitism and Terrorism on the Web
Coordinating Concerned Citizens Around the Globe
Promoting Jewish Pride, Knowledge, Unity"cite web|title= The Jewish Internet Defense Force (mainpage) |publisher= JIDF |date= 2008-08-23 |url= http://www.thejidf.org/ |accessdate= 2008-08-23]
The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) is an online organization that seeks to remove material from the Internet which its members believe promotes or praises terror and racial hatred, in particular, sites they deem to be antisemitic and anti-Israel in nature.cite blog|title=JIDF Response to Wikipedia|url=http://www.thejidf.org/2008/08/current-response-to-wikipedia.html|publisher=|date=2008-08-05] Founded by David Appletree, a Jewish activist, the group has focused its attention on websites like Facebook,cite web | last = Morrison | first =Sarah | title=Jewish Activist Battles For Israel on Facebook | publisher=Israel National News | date=2008-03-04 | url =http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125783 | accessdate=2008-08-23] cite web | last = Morrison | first =Sarah | title=Jewish Activists Hack Anti-Semitic Facebook Group | publisher=Israel National News | date=2008-07-27 | url =http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/150523 | accessdate=2008-08-23] Myspace, YouTube, Google Earth, and Wikipedia.

Organization

According to the JIDF, the organization "formed as a grassroots effort in 2000, mainly to mount mass e-mail campaigns, in response to the outbreak of the Second Intifada, a Palestinian uprising which began in September of that year. It then began operating on various Web sites, including Facebook, to spread news about Israel and Jewish issues."cite news
author=Stephanie Rubenstein|title=Jewish Internet Defense Force 'seizes control' of anti-Israel Facebook group|url=http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331137728&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull|publisher=The Jerusalem Post
location=Jerusalem|date=2008-07-30
] The JIDF also "created a Facebook group entitled "FACEBOOK: Why do you aid and abet terrorist organizations?", reportedly in response to groups on Facebook "praising the murderer of the eight yeshiva boys" in the Mercaz HaRav massacre.cite web | last = Morrison | first =Sarah | title=Jewish Activist Battles For Israel on Facebook | publisher=Israel National News | date=2008-03-04 | url =http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125783 | accessdate=2008-08-23] The organization's web site was created in May 2008 [cite web
url=http://whois.domaintools.com/thejidf.org |title=WHOIS recordfor "thejidf.org"|date=August 21, 2008 |publisher=DomainTools
] and the first press references to the "Jewish Internet Defense Force" appeared shortly thereafter. The JIDF encourages e-mail campaigns to the media to inform them about the issues they find online, and to site administrators of social networking websites to inform them about content which the JIDF deems to be objectionable and contrary to the corresponding acceptable use policies.cite blog|title=Sample E-mail Activism Letter|url=http://www.thejidf.org/2008/05/sample-email-activsm-letter-media.html|publisher= |date=2008-05-20]

Facebook interventions

During 2007, a controversy on Facebook was reported involving the removal of the Palestine option from "the drop-down list of places members can use to show where they live." Several Facebook groups formed to support or oppose this removal including "'Palestine' Is not a country ... Delist it from Facebook as a country!" and"Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country". Matt Hicks of Facebook responded by saying: "As long as the groups meet our terms of use, they can stay up. But we encourage users to report anything that is racist or objectionable."cite news |url=http://www.thestar.com/News/article/209925 | title=Playing Politics on Facebook | date=May 3, 2007 | publisher=The Star | author=Zerbisias, Antonia | location=Toronto ] Content found in the "Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country" group was described as antisemitic by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), "The Jewish Week", and Andre Oboler, a social media researcher. [cite paper
title= Help ADL fight the next generation of online extremism
publisher=ADL
url= http://support.adl.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ac_anti_semitism_2
accessdate=2008-08-18
] [cite news|author=Tamar Snyder
title=Anti-Semitism 2.0 Going Largely Unchallenged
url=http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c37_a4553/News/National.html
publisher=The Jewish Week
date=2008-02-20
] [cite paper
author=Andre Oboler | title=Online Antisemitism 2.0. "Social Antisemitism" on the "Social Web"
publisher=Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
location=Jerusalem | date=2008-04-01 | url=http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=3&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=624&PID=0&IID=2235&TTL=Online_Antisemitism_2.0._
accessdate=2008-08-14
] [cite news|author=Andre Oboler|title=Facing up to the 'Facebook' dilemma|url=http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1202211059878|publisher=The Jerusalem Post|date=2008-02-05 ] [cite news|author=Tamar Snyder| title=Latest Front In Mideast Wars: Wikipedia: Pro-Israel advocates have been banned from contributing articles on the popular encyclopedia, but battle rages. |url=http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c39_a9469/News/International.html|publisher=The Jewish Week| date=2008-05-14 ] According to the JIDF, the group "actively promoted hatred, violence, murder and genocide."cite news
author=Stephanie Rubenstein|title=Jewish Internet Defense Force 'seizes control' of anti-Israel Facebook group
url=http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331137728&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull|publisher=The Jerusalem Post
location=Jerusalem
date=2008-07-30
]

Despite what the JIDF described as "thousands of user complaints over the course of eighteen months", Facebook declined to shut the group down, saying it did not take action against what it described as "legitimate political discourse".cite news|title=Facebook: 'Anti-Semitic' group hijacked by Jewish force
url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2478773/Facebook-Anti-semitic-group-destroyed-by-Israeli-hackers.html
publisher=The Telegraph
location=London
author=Moore, Matthew
date=2008-07-31
] The "Israel is not a country" group continued to grow, and in July 2008 JIDF "seize [d] control" of it. According to David Appletree of the JIDF, "The terms say that 'one cannot ... make available any content that [Facebook] deem [s] to be harmful, ... hateful, or racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable.'"cite web | last = Morrison | first =Sarah | title=Jewish Activist Battles For Israel on Facebook | publisher=Israel National News | date=2008-03-04 | url =http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125783 | accessdate=2008-08-23 See also "Jewish Activists Hack Anti-Semitic Facebook Group" [http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/150523 Arutz Sheva] 7-27-08.] Appletree added, Facebook is "negligent in going after these pro-terror and anti-Semitic groups praising Adolf Hitler." Since the JIDF intervention, the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism (CFCA) has highlighted the issue by including a "Telegraph" article on the topic in its archive. [cite paper| title= Israel - Facebook: 'Anti-Semitic' group hijacked by Jewish force" | publisher=CFCA Archives | url= http://www.antisemitism.org.il/eng/struggle/33140/Israel_-_Facebook%3A_%27Anti-Semitic%27_group_hijacked_by_Jewish_force | accessdate=2008-08-18 ]

In September 2008, the JIDF told the "Canadian Jewish News" that it had taken over several more Facebook groups, including "an Arabic-language Facebook group which set a goal of finding one million people who hate Israel within 90 days."cite web | last = Lungen| first =Paul | title=Anti-Israel Facebook groups infiltrated | publisher=Canadian Jewish News | date=2008-09-25 | url =http://www.cjnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15425&Itemid=86 | accessdate=2008-09-25 ] The JIDF removed more than 55,000 members from the Arabic group.

The "Canadian Jewish News" reported that the JIDF took over another Facebook group, "Eliminate Israel from Being", and deleted more than 5,000 members before Facebook management "returned control of the site to its administrators." According to the JIDF, some users on Facebook "spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, demonize Zionists, praise attacks on Israeli or Jewish civilians, promote violence, hatred and Islamic jihadist propaganda, recruit people to Islamic terrorist organizations and supports white supremacy and Nazi groups."

ee also

*Internet activism
*Internet Haganah
*HonestReporting
*Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

References

External links

* [http://www.thejidf.org/ The Jewish Internet Defense Force] (Official website)
* [http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22194342477 The Jewish Internet Defense Force] (Facebook group)


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