DECEMBER 17, 2019 14:39
‘We will be back bigger and better than before,’ says StandWithUs Israel’s executive director Michael Dickson.
StandWithUs has vowed that it will not be silenced after seven of its Facebook pages, including its main English page, was hacked.
The pages hit included their main English page, Arabic page, Spanish page and their pages in Holland, Brazil and the UK.
The organization is a non-profit, international, pro-Israel organization, which supports Israel and fights antisemitism through education.
According to StandWithUs Israel’s executive director Michael Dickson, the pages have been down for the last 14 hours.
Dickson told The Jerusalem Post that they are “constantly vigilant because we know we are a source of potential attack.
“We were aware of this [hack] as it was happening, in real time,” he said, adding that they have been in touch with the highest levels of Facebook and continue to be so.
As a result of knowing that they could be a target, Dickson said that they keep to the most stringent security on Facebook. It is believed to have been an “internal hack within Facebook using bots… Facebook is trying to freeze out [their] content.”
He said that, as one of the largest sources of news and educational resources on Israel, “we receive hate filled, abusive messages – we see this a lot during times of war – so we understand we are a target.”
Asked about what was being posted, he said that “we saw that admins were locked out, and the ISIS logo was posted” on one of their administered accounts. “It’s been taken down since, and Facebook has assured us that they are getting control of the situation. But at this time we still don’t have access.”
Dickson highlighted that none of the seven pages have been available and cannot be found if someone searches for them.
“StandWithUs staff also received messages; they were being tagged in posts about it; and people were also posting about it on their own accounts,” he said. “We are working with Facebook and we anticipate we will be back.”
Asked how he felt about the situation, Dickson said that “we’re obviously unhappy it happened; this is an unacceptable situation [and] we understand that we’re a target… but we assure our followers that we won’t be silenced. We will learn from this and we will be back bigger and better than before,” Dickson added.
Regarding how something like this could be avoided in the future, Dickson said that although they haven’t yet received an assurance that this won’t happen again, they are speaking with senior members of Facebook and they will work together and learn from this experience.
Dickson reiterated that they will be back, and that the organization will continue to post updates on their website as more information becomes available.
Facebook acknowledged the Post’s request for comment but has not yet responded.