An online petition urging Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to help stamp out anti-Semitism on the social networking site had garnered nearly 17,000 signatures by Friday.
The petition is the brainchild of Anna Berg, a Swedish Jew who told Maariv newspaper this week that she has long been battling anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the Scandinavian country.
"Anti-Semitism is once again on the rise in our society," the petition reads. "Jews are attacked everywhere and Facebook is no exception. The number of anti-Semite (and anti-Zionist) pages are growing by the minute. Despite the option to report these pages, most reports are ignored."
The petition goes on to say that the anti-Semitic pages and photos that are posted on Facebook "are vile, horrific, hateful and filled with classic anti-Semitism and Jewish stereotypes."
It says that by not removing such pages, Facebook is "actively supporting the spread of anti-Semitism." The petition is demanding that Zuckerberg and Facebook change the site's community standards and "stop the hate NOW!"
Facebook's community standards say that, "Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition."
Berg's initiative began only several weeks ago, but she told Maariv that it has gained momentum quickly. "Every ten hours, we get 1,000 signatures," she told the daily.
"The goal is to force Facebook to keep track of the content that is posted and to take the subject seriously."
Berg also told Maariv that she organized a pro-Israel rally in Sweden about a year and a half ago, but has focused her efforts mainly on Internet activism of late.
The online petition was to be sent to Facebook headquarters in California's Silicon Valley on Friday.
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