Looks like the folks at Facebook have more to worry about than their plummeting stock price (off 28% since the IPO last week). In recent days, Facebook suspended the account of the Israeli graphic artist, Mysh, about whom I wrote a post a few days ago. It seems that some of the brilliant political graphics I praised in that post must’ve offended the delicate sensibilities of the pro-Israel crowd. I’m guessing there was a movement to complain about the images. And Facebook’s nanny patrol took a look at them and agreed. At least three images have been removed from Facebook and Mysh’s account was suspended for 24 hours as “punishment” for being such a bad boy and saying such mean things (and referencing the Holocuast) about the Israeli pogromists who assaulted African refugees in Tel Aviv a few days ago.
The problem is that Mysh did nothing wrong. In fact, his graphic art is brilliant political satire. It’s the hasbara crowd and their enablers at Facebook who should be ashamed of themselves. I expect that sort of behavior from the Israeli right. But I expect Facebook not to kowtow to such a censorious crowd. Let’s ask a few questions of FB’s censors:
1. Does this mean that you can’t feature a cartoon about the Holocaust on Facebook?
2. Does this mean that cartoons combining Holocaust imagery and criticism of Israel are treif on Facebook?
3. Does this mean that the hasbara crowd gets to determine what can and can’t be seen on Facebook?
4. Does this mean that non-prurient nudity in a cartoon will get it banned?
I’ve looked everywhere for a way to complain to Facebook about this ridiculous decision, but they pretty much avoid telling you how to do so. So I guess we have to make a big enough stink and get the media to call asking questions. Maybe someone can post FB’s corporate headquarters info and phone number and people can call. This is the customer service number I found online: 650-543-4800.
Psst, I’ll tell you a little secret: while Mysh can’t display this image on Facebook, guess who can? You, of course. It’s on my page. If enough of us put it up on all our pages it will hopefully drive the Thought Police crazy and maybe they’ll give up on the censorship. Post it to Twitter too and all the social media. Let’s frustrate the hell out of the censor and make them realize their folly.
The other two censored images are The Green Sabra (a parody of The Hulk, in which the hero/monster is a Sabra) and The Real $uperpower, in which corporate CEO Lex Luther carves an “S” on a naked, cowed Superman (the 99%) in a biting affirmation of the message of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I dare anyone to defend the censoring of these images. Even the most pro-Israel among you. Go ahead, I dare you to try.
Oh and about that falling stock price: Facebook, don’t you have enough troubles without adding this to the bunch? But I guess the nannies are factoring in the possibility of kvetching and moaning from the pro-Israel side as well. It’s a question of which will hurt them more. So far, art, freedom and free expression are the losers.
UPDATE: Mysh posted on his Facebook page yesterday that the company sent him an “automatic” message saying his art work had been removed “in error.” It’s now been restored to his page, a victory of freedom of expression for social media. Now, onward to freeing Uri Blau from the burden of espionage charges!
UPDATE I: Not so fast. Facebook screwed up again and has banned yet another of Mysh’s works and this time suspended him from access to his site for THREE days!! Once I know the offending image I’ll feature it here and encourage all of you to engage in social media disobedience on his behalf. The struggle continues!