The story of Todd Snider and his Facebook group “I Wonder How Quickly I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Support Israel,” which appeared on FrontPage last Friday in the article “Facebook Jihad," has taken a bizarre new turn.
Snider, you may recall, is the enterprising and dedicated fourteen-year-old who last summer started a Facebook group that quickly grew to become the largest pro-Israel group on the popular social networking site. Snider’s group, “I Wonder How Quickly I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Support Israel,” which he founded in July 2008, had over 180,000 members by mid February of this year.
But on February 15, 2009, Snider’s Facebook group was hacked and destroyed by a pro-Hizballah group calling itself “Lebanese Shee’a Hackers.” The hackers completely erased the original site content and replaced it with threatening, obscenity-laced pro-jihad, anti-Israel propaganda datelined Bint Jbeil, South Lebanon: “DEAR ADMINS, DON’T WASTE MY AND YOUR TIME , LEAVE THIS GROUP ITS BETTER FOR BOTH THIS IS THE LAST TIME ILL EDIT YOU INFO , NEXT TIME AND IN A COUPLE OF HOURS YOU WILL LOOSE EVERYTHING RELATED TO THIS GROUP….”
Facebook did nothing to stop these hackers from destroying Snider’s site, answering repeated entreaties for help from him and others with blandly evasive form letters. Snider said that Facebook received “hundreds of messages and complaints” from group members, “including some to high-ranking officials through connections,” but remained “entirely unaffected by this type of pressure, likely because many of its employees themselves are anti-Israel.” And then last Friday afternoon, Facebook actually disabled Snider’s account, explaining rather bizarrely that the young man had been “misusing [its] features.” Facebook did this despite the fact that Snider was clearly listed as the creator of both the original “I Wonder How Quickly I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Support Israel” and the replacement group he began in February after the hacking.
But Facebook’s seeming capitulation to the pro-jihad and anti-Israel sentiment that has elsewhere migrated to the U.S. from Europe may have been more a bureaucratic snafu than a calculated political gesture. Around the same time that Facebook officials deleted Todd Snider’s account, it also finally deleted the original “I Wonder How Quickly I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Support Israel” group site, with the menacing material from the pro-Hizballah, pro-jihad, anti-Semitic hackers. This indicates that the complaints that Facebook received after the FrontPage article appeared Friday had results. It is disappointing, however, that it took Facebook authorities so long to take action, and that apparently public pressure was the only thing that moved them to do so.
It may be also that Snider’s account was disabled because he was still listed as the creator of the hacked group. In that case, then, we hope Facebook will restore his account forthwith, and provide him with some way to contact the 180,000 members of the original group who had signed on to his crusade; his new group, which he established in February after the original group site was hacked, has only 3,000 members.
Todd Snider deserves our admiration for his stand against Internet jihadis – and the strange story of his Facebook group illustrates anew how ubiquitous and persistent those jihadis are. Snider also deserves the wholehearted support of everyone who supports Israel at the front line of the global jihad. Facebook members, whether or not they belonged to the original group, should join his new group, also called “I Wonder How Quickly I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Support Israel.” A million people should sign up to protest the attacks of the digital jihadis who are increasingly attempting to compromise our internet freedoms.
The Internet jihadis must come to see that they will meet a determined, informed resistance, and that their thuggery will not stand – just as they must in the wide world beyond the curious confines of Facebook. All too many in the West seem determined instead to take the path of appeasement. They would do well to learn from the example of Todd Snider.