When you mix Jews, legalities, Facebook…

Facebook + Jew vs Jew + lawsuit?

Not the first time this has happened, Mark Zuckerberg(s)!

Israeli entrepreneur becomes Mark Zuckerberg to fight Facebook

But we had to have known some Israeli would have the balls to do this:

Israeli entrepreneur Rotem Guez has legally changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg in response to legal threats from Facebook. The 32 year old Haifa resident runs a website called “Likestore” which sells Facebook “likes” in bulk charging prices of NIS 500-10,000 for 1,000-10,000 “likes.”

Last week, Guez received a letter from a law firm representing Facebook demanding that he close his business. Guez insists that his business is legal and decided to change his name to that of Facebook founder and CEO to see if Facebook is prepared to sue him.

My favorite part:

At first the clerk refused to change his name describing it as “misleading the public” but Guez’s insistence that “Zuckerberg” is a nice Jewish name convinced her to register the change.

So who’s the bigger Sucker(berg) – the billionaire Mark or the dude who can’t legally change his name again for seven years?

Itamar family murder photos: A valid weapon? To what degree?

This is a response to an ongoing conversation I’ve been having/seeing on Facebook, reacting to the sharing of images of the bodies of the Itamar terror-murder victims, including the three children who were stabbed to death (note: neither of those links contain the images).

The issue has been that folks are posting the images of the dead bodies as part of sharing links to the story. I think people are doing it in haste, without thinking through the complexity of what it means to share these photos.

For my own sake, at the very least, I feel I need to clearly state what is going on in my head.

Here is what I’m NOT saying:

  • I’m not saying, don’t spread the news of the Itamar family with everyone you know, especially those outside of Israel who have not heard about it.
  • I’m not saying, don’t share links to news articles and commentary to inform people.
  • I’m not saying, don’t use social media to communicate the horrific tragedy we’ve been facing as a nation since last Shabbat.
  • I’m not saying I don’t understand why the family of the victims released the traumatizing photos of their bloody, murdered bodies – including those of the children stabbed to death.
  • I’m not saying I’m completely 100% anti the photos being released by the Israeli government (responsibly and with all due respect), especially to media outlets and world governments.

Here is what I AM saying:

  • First off, I’m fully aware I don’t have to check Facebook until the photo issue blows over. I’ve been scanning it cautiously, avoiding the images as best I can, so I’m being responsible over my own exposure.
  • While I understand the family’s decision to release the photos on a rationale level, I don’t feel the personal need to look at those images. Reading about the story traumatized me enough – as a Jew, as a resident of Israel, and most of all, as a mother.
  • We are a people who respect death and the dead – it’s written into the core of halachot related to mourning, treatment of bodies and purity. So it’s a bit of an interesting turn of events that the photos were released. And it’s equally interesting what the appropriate handling of that is for us, as individuals. Have we thought about it, as Jews? Have we appreciated this fact at all? Have we thought about how to go about this respectfully?
  • Some are arguing that using social media as a means of protest and hasbara is exactly what we should be doing. Amen. But that isn’t my problem here.
  • Specifically, my issue is using the images as a weapon in a setting where it’s not effective. Recognize that often, social networks are mostly a closed-circuit system for a lot of us. Facebook’s news feed algorithm is set so most of the time, it’s the people you interact with most who will see your shares. And who do you think you interact with most? People in your area, in your workplace, in your real life? Is posting a link to bloody images too little and too simple?
  • And is it the best way to connect with people on this story? Has anyone considered that many folks  unaffiliated with the situation may close themselves off to the story by being exposed in such an alarming way? Shock tactic is not for everyone. I’d hope people are thinking twice about their target audiences as they share these photos en masse.

Continuing on that, there’s more we can do, which basically comes down to targeting your audience.

  • Send the images and commentary to NYTimes editorial, CNN, BBC, etc. Those are places meant to target a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds. You know, not in your network or even six degrees from it. And in addition, the media outlets themselves need to hear what people on the ground think, too.
  • Send the story to friends, family, colleagues and old college buddies – directly. Start a dialogue one-on-one and hit home with people. Mass distribution on a social network site can only go so far, as mentioned (algorithm, share-flooding, etc).
  • Consider starting the dialogue without graphic and disrespectful photos, and move up to it if you need to. Or after building a base. I’m not sure that alarming people with images of bloody children is always going to be the best way to go; alarm tactics may work on some, but not all. Know your audience.

Again, people making this argument are not at all against sharing this horror with the world, using social media or otherwise. It’s more a matter of maintaining the utmost respect for the dead, respect for the situation, and respect for those of us who need not be repeatedly exposed to it after already dealing with the trauma.


Old school.

Lately it seems like so much of old school life is stopping by to visit; I blame the gosh-darn social networks on the inter-thing.

It hit me yesterday that I’m at the stage in life where at any point, I can bump into a kid I was a camp counselor for, 12 years later when they are no longer 4 years old and they are strewn across a Facebook profile littered with txt speak.

Yikes. Old much?

Or I get tagged in photos so old they must have been scanned into the computer because there were no consumer digital cameras in the mid-90s. Standing around with a couple of high school sophomore boy friends on some Brooklyn street.

Then of course, there is getting friend requests from high school classmates I never would have remembered existed if I never went back and skimmed my yearbook (where is that thing, anyway?).

It sure is nice to have it all out there, stopping occasionally for a cyber tap on the shoulder instead of crashing into me at a high school reunion.

That Bezeq parrot invaded my Facebook.

The Bezeq parrot is back, trying to get at me with it’s creepy feathers via my Facebook account. I found this ad on there today:

Well, at least the Bezeq marketing plan includes social networking sites. Even if that means crazy alcoholic parrots.

Doesn’t he kind of look like Ehud Olmert from the neck up?

Ynet's perception of Israeli soldiers on Facebook: Naked.

I gave away the punch line in the title, but there ain’t much more to say than that. Here’s the headline of a Ynet news article from today:

Classified info exposed on Facebook

Basically, some members of the Israeli security establishment were caught with photos of classified soldiers and locations exposed on their Facebook accounts. But what interests me more – aside from the stupidity of the Israeli security establishment – is Ynet’s perception of Israeli soldiers surfing the web:

Israeli soldier naked on Facebook

Is Ynet so desperate for female readership?