Feb 1, 2011

The Next Haredi Ban: Facebook

In what seems to indicate that the original haredi ban on the Internet has been abandoned and forgotten, the askanim are now working hard to get the rabbonim to put out a ban on Facebook.

Bechadrei reports on the coming ban saying that the askan they spoke to said that the beis din has been presented with numerous situations of families that have been damaged greatly [because of Facebook]. The askan said that because Facebook has absolutely no use for business purposes or for parnassa, therefore there is no hetter to use it. That along with the tremendous amount of time it causes people to waste.

While he is right about the tremendous amounts of time people waste on Facebook, he is wrong and clueless about the business and parnassa relevance of Facebook. Many companies use Facebook as a way of being in touch, at little or no cost at all, with their clients and customers, and with potential customers.

The haredi businessmen and people in advertising Bechadrei spoke to also said that such a statement by the askanim indicates more that they dont know what they are talking about than anything else, as much of their communication and business is done involving Facebook.

As one haredi social media manager responded, banning Facebook in 2011 is like the attempt to ban Google in 2004.

Kikar adds to the report by speaking with the askan Mottka Blau, the head of the committee for the holiness of facebook. Blau is leading the initiative to get Facebook banned. He says that Internet is needed for parnassa, but the ban on Facebook will work because it has nothing to do with parnassa and work. Another reason it will work is because he will redefine the word "haredi" to only include people who dont have Facebook. As Blau says, he who is haredi does not have Facebook. Someone who is not haredi, but a haredon (Haredi lite?) does have facebook. So that slves it - everyone with facebook is no longer haredi and therefore his fight was successful.

Blau lists 3 reasons why Facebook should be banned:

  1. It is a tragedy that from a young age the haredi community is makpid on separation of the genders. It is incomprehensible that mixing of the genders should be ok in social media.
  2. people are regularly transgressing issurim of lashon ha'ra and rechilus.
  3. tzniyus issues in regards to pictures and other things that are shared.

Koritz, the fellow saying a ban would not work, responded by saying that at the end of the day it is a matter of self-discipline, like anything else. Somebody who uses snail mail can also have inappropriate materials sent to him in his mailbox.

Anyways, the ban might be coming, so be on the lookout for the latest haredi initiative called glattbook or chaverbook, or something else like that, that will be promoted as the Facebook alternative that will have been created by a friend of one of the askanim..

Oh yeah, feel free to "Like" and share this on Facebook by clicking the button below.


  1. "the head of the committee for the holiness of facebook...."

    a little sarcasm there?

  2. Huh? They haven't banned it already? Are they slowing down?

  3. Your last paragraph indicates my repetative line, that the constant bans have done nothing more than make us ignore the bans and look for the falsity in them (now an automatic assumption).

    Me, I'd love to see the video of the askanim trying to explain what Facebook is to one of the gedolay hador.

  4. Maybe someone should show the article below to the "powers that be". They may end up endorsing Facebook as a way to resurrect a virtual "shtetal"! After all, isn't the ultimate Chareidi goal to recreate the nirvana that was Europe? (Or should I say "create", since what they pine for never really existed.)


  5. ...numerous situations of families that have been damaged greatly [because of Facebook]. The askan said that because Facebook has absolutely no use for business purposes or for parnassa, therefore there is no hetter to use it. That along with the tremendous amount of time it causes people to waste.

    Replace "Facebook" in the above paragraph with smoking, alcohol, rioting, etc., and you start to wonder (if you haven't already) how so many squirrels got into these people's heads.

    On another note, if Facebook is so evil, I wonder if they'll issue a special dispensation to see the movie "The Social Network".

  6. my daughter's friend told her that Twitter, Youtube and Facebook are merging... the new website is going to be called "You twit-face"

  7. Rafi,

    I didn't see a way to "like" this post on Facebook. You should post it on Facebook so that I can "Like" it.

  8. The individual that is pushing the Facebook ban is also tryimg to ban Wild Salmon.

    There is something fishy with this fellow.

  9. wild salmon? is that the fish with the discussion of the worms in the flesh?

  10. 1. What a coincidence that they are planning on starting a competing site. (Actually one exits already - but I've already forgotten its name - it takes more than "a ban" to kick-start a social site.)

    2. As you stated, Facebook is used for business, to the point that a business without Facebook is risking losing customers nowadays.

    3. Facebook is used to spread Torah. I have over 2,000 people on my Halocho a Day group - and I'm one of many such groups. People are looking for Torah on Facebook; we should put more Torah there, not remove authentic Torah and leave the "riff raff" to represent Torah.

  11. If these things didn't happen I wouldn't believe they could,
    thank you for stretching my imagination,
    take care of yourselves!


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