The Merchant – an Antisemitic Facebook Page

Update 1 February 2014: “The Merchant” page is currently “unpublished”, this means it is not visible on Facebook and you can no longer report it. It has, however, not been permanently removed. This means the administrtaor can make it come back at any time. If the unpublishing was done by Facebook as a warning (with a request the administrator clean it up before republishing it) then when it returns, further reporting may see it permanently deleted.

For the last few days OHPI has been monitoring a Facebook page called “The Merchant” (Page ID# 504555959664212) and investigating the story behind this page. The draft of a detailed report into this page was sent to Facebook earlier today and will be publicly released next week. The page has been reported by many Facebook users, and the Facebook platform have been rejecting these reports claiming the content does not breach their Community Standards. This is plainly wrong as the content is antisemitic hate speech.  In some cases users have received a rejection notice for their complaint less than a minute after lodging it.

In the draft send to Facebook, the Online Hate Prevention Institute calls on Facebook to take action to close the page. We also recommend Facebook follow the closure with an apology notifying users whose reports have been rejected these decisions will be reversed. The full report explores the history behind this image and how the Facebook page forms part of an effort to game a significant website in Internet culture.

The page is a week old and on an exponential growth curve. Without urgent intervention it may well reach two thousand supporters by the time OHPI’s report is released next week. To put this in perspective, the Aboriginal Memes 2014 page has a little over 20 fans when it was closed two weeks after opening. “The Merchant” antisemitic Facebook page currently has 986 fans and that number is growing rapidly. 

If users continue to report the page, and Facebook continues to reject people’s legitimate reports, eventually there will be more people for Facebook to apologize to and the scale of the damage might make an impact on Facebook’s future response to such incidents. For now we present a selection of the antisemitic images from the Facebook page and we urge people to continue reporting them. Instructions for reporting the images are also provided.  Once you have reported the content, please share this page to indicate you have done your part in reporting the content, and to encourage others to report it as well.

Table of Contents:

How to report this antisemitism

Below we provide a list of images, including samples of what the image looks like, and links to their live location on Facebook. Each image should be reported, and then the page itself should be reported.

Reporting an image:

1) Click the link saying “Click to Report” on the right the first image in the “Hate Archive” below. The image will load in a new window and there is a report bottom located below the image on the right.

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - image id 504557726330702 - cleaned

2) In the box that pops up, choose the “I think it shouldn’t be on Facebook” option and click continue

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report 2


3)  When asked what is wrong with this image, select “other” (not “This is inappropriate, annoying, or not funny”) and click continue

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report 34) Now select the option that “This threatens or insults based on race, sex, orientation or ability” and click continue

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report 45)  On the next page you are given an option to report the image. Note that you started this who process by asking to report the image. Note that the option is NOT ticked by default. We wonder how many reports get dropped because of this but of poor (or if you want to lose the complaints, perhaps overly clever) bit of user interface design. Make sure you TICK the box, then click continue.

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report 56)  You will now get a message that “We’re sorry that you’ve had this experience. We’ll review this photo and if it violates our Community Standards, we’ll remove it.” Click OK and you are done reporting this image.

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report 67) You can now repeat the process for the next image, and when you have reported a number of images, you can also report the page.

Reporting the Page

1) Visit the page and click the little cog on the right so the menu appears. Click “Report Page”.

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report page 1

2) Selection the option “I think it shouldn’t be on Facebook” and click continue

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report page 2


3) Selection the option “Hate Speech” and a new drop down box will appear

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report page 3

4) Select “Targets a Race or Ethnicity” and click continue

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report page 45) On the next screen TICK the box to report it to Facebook. As with images it is UNTICKED by default. One day Facebook might fix this, or just remove this screen and assume people who click the “I want to report something” link at the start of this process really did want to actually, for real, report something. This is very had design Facebook should fix. Once you have ticked the box, click continue.

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report page 56) A message titled “Thank You” and saying that your report has been received is the end of this process.

20140131 page id 504555959664212 - report page 6

After your report is “Reviewed”

Some time later, in our case just a couple of seconds later, we received a notification the report had been reviewed. The notification appeared in the bottom left of the screen and looked like:

Report reviewed


If you click it (or navigate to your support dashboard) you will see the review. It will say “This page wasn’t removed” and that “We reviewed the page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.”

report rejected


This is when you ask your friends report it as well. Please do sharing this briefing  ( with them and asked them to them to help report the hate. When you do this, please take a moment to explain why this is important. It’s people power that will make the difference.

You can also join our Facebook page and / or e-mail list to follow our future work combating online hate (including the release of the detailed report on this page) and the development of our flagship project, “Fight Against Hate” which will empower users to hold social media companies like Facebook more accountable by tracking the hate and how the company responds to user reports about it. What we see here is just not good enough… and this is happening all the time on so many pages… we need to numbers and we need to demand Facebook starts improving.

The Hate Archive

1 Click to Report
 2 Click to Report
 3 Click to Report
 4 Click to Report
 5 Click to Report
 6 Click to Report
 7 Click to Report
 8 Click to Report
 9 Click to Report
 10 Click to Report