Ruthie Blum is back on Facebookreinstated on Facebook. And she got an apology to boot.
Meanwhile, Katie Harbath, manager of policy at Facebook, became aware of the situation. Ms. Harbath saw the Observer version of the story and reached out to New York Observer editor Ken Kurson; at the same time, Commentary Magazine social media associate Bethany Mandell had also contacted Ms. Harbath. Immediately, Ms. Harbath sent me an apologetic e-mail, with an assurance that if I ever ran into any trouble in the future, I should not hesitate to get in touch with her directly.
Several hours later, I received a more formal explanation from the folks at Facebook, which was posted on Monday afternoon as an update to my story on the Observer:
“As our team processes more than one million reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. In this case, we mistakenly removed content from Ruthie Blum’s profile, and worked to rectify the mistake as soon as we were notified. We apologize for the inconvenience cause due to the removal of this content, and we have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Additionally, we have removed any blocks on associated accounts.”
I want you to note the part I highlighted. What this apparently means is that if you are Facebook friends with someone whose account is blocked, you become someone who is watched more closely and is more likely to have your account suspended in the event that someone complains about you (which is how Ruthie got blocked - the anti-Israel people complained about her). Something to think about for all of us....Though the removal of content from my page was never an issue (a political stalker trying to silence me was the problem), it is gratifying to know that the might of the pen sometimes works to my camp’s advantage. This definitely deserves a “Like.”
Meanwhile, my friends overseas (at least in the US) report that the Holocaust denial page is still up, but here in Israel it is apparently blocked.