You may be familiar with Gnasherjew, the group of ex-Labour Party members, who took it upon themselves to troll and harass left wing Labour party members and supporters on Twitter. They particularly targeted left wing Corbyn supporters, left wing Jews and those who dared criticise Israel on the social network platform. Everybody who dared criticise Israel was immediately labelled anti-Semitic by Gnasherjew who would start on a sustained programme of harassment and trolling, even going to the lengths of calling on the Labour party to expel these targeted Twitter users. Dorset Eye and The Canary both did articles on this harassment to bring people’s attention to what was going on. Twitter blocked the Canary’s article but the article on the Dorset Eye page was available to all.
Here is a quick bit of background information on Gnasherjew. Gnasherjew is the idea of notorious right wing, pro-Israel supporter John Arnott who pens a particularly poisonous blog called ‘Jew Knows’. Once people caught on to what he and his followers were up to there was a mass blocking of the members of Gnasherjew, and their followers, on Twitter so they found themselves with fewer targets to harass. They had a try at complaining to Twitter about being blocked by people they had had no interaction with, perhaps not realising that this is a democracy and people are entitled to block whoever they like. They then expanded their campaign to include Facebook.
Once on Facebook Arnott, or one of the other members of Gnasherjew, created a page ingeniously titled ‘Gnasherjew’ and started targeting people on Facebook. They have created a list of the top 50 ‘anti-Semitic’ Labour party members/supporters for everybody to see and post comments on. I found out about this because I was one of the targets. I had been targeted on Twitter but blocked them all and they somehow found me on Facebook and carried on. I reported the post to Facebook but they said it did not go against their standards, this was despite the fact that it was a cobbled together collage of things I supposedly posted on Twitter and Facebook which made me look racist and anti-Semitic … I am neither of these things and never have been. My only crime is I support Corbyn and I support Palestine against the Israeli occupation and illegal settlements.
The post was eventually taken down but only after a friend also reported it to Facebook. The list is comprised of Labour councillors, party members, party branch officials and even Ali Milani who is the Labour candidate fighting for Boris Johnson’s seat in the General Election. Go and take a look at their page, see if you are on there and make a complaint. The group of people that seem to have received the worst trolling are Jewish people who are pro-Corbyn, or criticise Israel. I would call the treatment they receive, at the hands of these reprobates who claim to be fighting anti-Semitism, at the very least anti-Semitic. If this was a group of pro-Palestine supporters doing this, then neither Facebook or Twitter would have a problem banning them from their platforms, but in this case it seems to be a case of one rule for them and another for everybody else. Whilst this bias continues, people like Arnott and the rest of Gnasherjew will think they have the right to continue posting libellous posts which could seriously damage reputations and maybe even cause people to lose jobs, friendships and more. The only way to stop this is for all of us who have been targeted by this group of people and others like them to stand up and say enough is enough. They do not have the right to spread lies and misinformation about us or anybody else. They go out of their way to make people’s lives miserable, on Twitter they use what is called ‘dog piling’ which means that they all attack a target at the same time. This is targeted harassment and they get away with it time after time because of who they are and who they support.
I am not a victim of Gnasherjew I am a person they chose to libel and spread misinformation about. They tried to get me expelled from the Labour Party. They tried to make me miserable and to make people dislike me. It did not work. But it will have worked on others. Do not let them make it work on you or your friends. Stand up to them and stand up to Twitter and Facebook and demand equal treatment for all. It is bad enough seeing the social media bias with regards to Israel and Palestine; and the mainstream media bias with regards to Tories and Labour. We have to make sure that the bias is not allowed to influence how some social media users are censured and others not.
I originally wrote this on August 1st 2019 and have since updated it due to the General Election. Thanks to Sally Eason and Labour Left Voice for the information about John Arnott.
Chief Rabbi, Mainstream Media and the smears against Jeremy Corbyn (Guest post by Peter Gregson) Chairperson of LAZIR)