Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Zuckerberg Buys Up Palo Alto Hood

May 16, 2014

This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.

This courtesy photo shows Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan at their wedding ceremony in Palo Alto, Calif., Saturday, May 19, 2012 (photo credit: AP/Facebook, Allyson Magda Photography)

This courtesy photo shows Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan at their wedding ceremony in Palo Alto, Calif., Saturday, May 19, 2012 (photo credit: AP/Facebook, Allyson Magda Photography)

PALO ALTO — When your net worth is $25.3 billion, you can afford to spend $30 million to become your neighbors’ landlord. That’s approximately how much Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg paid to buy four residential properties behind and next to the gated home where he and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan live in the Crescent Park section of Palo Alto, California.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Zuckerberg, who turned 30 this week, is uninterested in knocking down the neighbors’ homes and building an estate on the combined properties (which is what Google’s Larry Page is doing on four adjacent lots he acquired in another Palo Alto neighborhood). Instead, in a bid to preserve his privacy, the Facebook CEO is leasing the properties back to his neighbors to keep out developers who may market them based on their proximity to the Zuckerberg residence.

Zuckerberg paid well above market price (reportedly $14 million) for one of them.

So how does this controlling move by Zuckerberg play with his fellow Palo Altans?

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

 

Protesters: Facebook OK With Anti-Semitic Postings

October 17, 2013

This article was first published in JWeekly.

Israeli Phillip Pasmanick takes part in a protest at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park on Oct. 14. photo/joyce goldschmid

Israeli Phillip Pasmanick takes part in a protest at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park on Oct. 14. photo/joyce goldschmid

A small group of activists accusing Facebook of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism online staged a protest outside the social media giant’s Menlo Park headquarters on Oct. 14.

The protest was organized by Michael Mendelson, a 45-year-old electronics salesman from Miami who has been working for two years to get Facebook to remove pages and groups he believes are anti-Semitic or hateful against Jews and Israel.

In an email, Mendelson said he received support from the Zionist Organization of America and Stand With Us, and that “over 400 attendees” had signed up online and would be at the protest. The actual number was about 15.

Mendelson claims he collected 112,000 signatures on a petition he presented to Facebook, and his “Help Report Hate & Anti-Semitic Pages” Facebook page has been liked more than 12,000 times.

“It all started when I saw a Facebook page called “F-ck Israel,” he said. “Since then, I’ve been reporting hateful page after hateful page, but even if one gets taken down, it pops right back up in no time at all.”

The son of parents he termed Holocaust “refugees,” Mendelson accuses Facebook of practicing a double standard: carefully removing content that is hateful toward gays, blacks, and other ethnic and minority groups, but blatantly allowing material that is virulently anti-Jewish to stay visible in newsfeeds.

Those who showed up to the protest waved blue and white signs with messages such as “Facebook=Hatebook,” “Social Media Holocaust” and “Demand Facebook take anti-Semitism seriously.”

Phillip Pasmanick said he traveled from his home in northern Israel to support Mendelson’s efforts. Retired from the Israel Defense Forces after 30 years, he now runs an Israel advocacy website. “I, too, have worked for a long time to fight anti-Semitic pages and have alerted others about them so they can help me get the links taken down,” he said.

Pasmanick, who wore a large Israeli flag as a cape, blamed Facebook’s algorithms for allowing hateful material to stay online.

Matt Steinfeld, manager of policy communications for Facebook, refuted Pasmanick’s claim. “An individual reviews each reported page and measures it against the standards on Facebook’s community standards page,” he said. With 1.2 billion users and 3.5 billion posts per day, Facebook maintains that the only “scalable way” to handle complaints is through its online reporting protocols, and by engaging with community organizations to address various concerns.

One of those community organizations is the Anti-Defamation League, which said in an official statement that it is “routinely in contact with the leadership at Facebook to raise concern about anti-Semitic and other problematic content published to their pages.”

Click here to read more.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Hipster Anne Frank’s Tasteless Tweets

September 26, 2013

This post first appeared on the Forward Thinking blog at the Forward. It was picked up by Time, The Atlantic and Haaretz.

Screen-shot-2013-09-26-at-8.23.58-PM

You know what happens when someone achieves iconic status? People forget they were a real person before they became an icon. And when people forget this important fact, things can get really ugly.

Case in point: Anne Frank.

I’m referring specifically to the new Hipster Anne Frank (@HipstrAnneFrank) Twitter account. The tagline: “bestselling memoirist/loft dweller/voice of a generation.” (Facebook beat Twitter to it —there’s been a Hipster Anne Frank page since 2011, not to mention the Hipster Hitler page, which has been around since the year before that.)

Yeah, I get it. It’s all about applying the ironic to the iconic. Problem is, it isn’t funny in the least.

Here are some of the posts:

My skinny jeans are the skinniest.

Click here to read more.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/184619/hipster-anne-franks-tasteless-tweets/#ixzz2g34GNV7h


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