The Australian Jewish News interview Dr Oboler on internet Antisemitism

Sharon Berger, Expert Warns on Internet antisemitism, The Australian Jewish News, October 31 2008, pg 4

SOCIAL media expert Dr Andre Oboler has issued a dire warning about the transmission of anti-Semitic online cultural values. Behaviour that is not acceptable in a public place should not be accept- able in online communities, such as Google, Facebook, My Space and Wikipedia, Dr Oboler has warned.

“In the current climate, anything goes, and if this is not changed in the next few years, this attitude will be cemented and we may miss the boat,” he said.

Dr Oboler, who recently returned to Melbourne after studying in the UK and Israel for five years,is CEO of Zionism on the Web – a website that aims to combat online anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

After attempting to convince the Jewish community, as well as the community-at-large, of the growing danger of web-based misinformation, Dr Oboler said he is concerned that mainstream internet users will be taken in. “My concern”, he said, is that people will “accept these views”.

To date, Dr Oboler’s extensive efforts have borne fruit on some websites, but he has failed to attract the funding needed to combat this growing phenomenon.

The Mount Scopus graduate, who has lived in South Africa, Australia, the UK and Israel, will speak next week at a number of community day schools and will talk on November 5, 8pm, at Kehillat Masada and on November 6, 8pm, at Hakoah Club.

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