Several protesters held up signs depicting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — both Jews — as octopuses Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
The protesters attended a House Committee on the Judiciary hearing called “Facebook, Google and Twitter: Examining the Content Filtering Practices of Social Media Giants.”
Depicting Jews as an octopus has happened multiple times throughout history, but most infamously during the Nazis’ reign in Germany and much of the world.
— Melissa Ryan (@MelissaRyan) July 17, 2018
The web address at the bottom of the image reportedly led to the website of “Freedom from Facebook,” a coalition that includes groups like New America’s Open Markets Institute, Jewish Voice for Peace, and MoveOn, which is partially funded by business magnate and political activist George Soros. (RELATED: California Congresswoman Says There’s No Bias Against Conservatives In Tech. Here’s Why She’s Wrong)
And that is likely true since the consortium of nonprofits boasted about it not long after they were displayed. They claim, however, that it’s supposed to reference the robber barons from around the turn of the 20th century.
— Freedom From Facebook (@FacebookBreakup) July 17, 2018
Still, others have been severely criticized for depicting Zuckerberg as an octopus. A German cartoonist was forced to apologize after turning the tech wunderkind into the sea animal, which evokes a feeling of all-gripping influence with its eight adhesive tentacles. Many people, including Jewish groups, equated it to a form of anti-Semitism since some of his features — long nose — were exaggerated. Some even compared it to very similar cartoons in the anti-Semitic magazine “Der Stürmer,” which grew quite popular during the Nazi era.
The ones shown Tuesday did not distort the faces of Sandberg and Zuckerberg, but to those familiar with the history, it could be interpreted in a certain unsavory way.
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