Facebook is mum on a major & unique attempt to rig elections in Israel

Last week I’ve launched a scandalous lawsuit in an Israeli court against Facebook concerning Adam Gold, the most popular and influential Facebook profile in Israel for the past 20 months.

Adam Gold was a fake profile, skillfully crafted he was the imaginary public persona, the madeup talent, of an unidentified group of professionals which aimed to pull the most audacious attempt yet in a western democracy to maliciously and deceitfully tilt the outcome of our coming general elections.

I believe the intended beneficiary of this illegal operation was our prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

My role here is that of a whistleblower from the public which identified this brazen scam 6 months ago, alerted Facebook of it and struggled for months, threatening to sue, until it eventually had no choice but to terminated this fake profile 3 weeks ago.

Yet Facebook remains silent about the true nature of Adam Gold.

The purpose of my lawsuit (here in Hebrew) is to unearth as much as possible about this scandal, identify the culprits involved as well as receive from Facebook appropriate damages for the slander I was exposed to for months, and still am, due to its outrageous and irresponsible handling of this story.

The facts I’ve unearthed so far:

  1. This fake profile Adam Gold was created on Nov 21, 2016 using the above photo alteration of Mark Zuckerberg as the profile’s pic. After 2 hours he published his first post which almost immediately received 400 shares from other profiles, mostly fake ones themselves.
  2. From that day on until 3 weeks ago he was the most popular account in Israel. Each one of his hundreds of posts received more shares, likes and comments than any other profile in Israel. His reach dwarfed all other prominent profiles of public figures here.
  3. The operators of Adam Gold also controlled a large network of hundreds of fake profiles which were used during Adam Gold’s entire online “life” to spread his content to hundreds of thousands of Israeli users, all of them with right wing political views.
  4. Everyone knew Adam Gold was not his real name but although he was the most influential political writer and commentator on the Israeli web for the past 20 months, no one knew who he was. No one still does today.
  5. His large crowd of followers and admirers thought he was a genuine guy, just one anonymous person, with intimate and extensive knowledge of our political and judicial environment. They were sure he was an insider. The most common guess, probably spread by his anonymous handlers themselves, was that Adam Gold was a disgruntled right wing judge or a high ranking district attorney, venting his political frustration and agenda through an anonymous and prohibited profile.
  6. “His” content was good. Very good. He was admired by hundreds of thousands right wing voters on Facebook. They would tell you that he had strong conservative right wing views, that he spoke truth to power, that he had inside information and exposed stuff no one knew before, that he attacked and criticised by name all acting politicians here from the right and from the left, including attacking the actions and agenda of our current right wing government. I can tell you that he indeed attacked everybody except one — Benjamin Netanyahu himself.
  7. On December 31, 2017 Adam Gold’s profile was taken down for 24 hours. When he returned on January 1st 2018 an Israeli Knesset member from Netanyahu’s ruling party, Amir Ohana, published a post saying he was happy to update all that he called Facebook’s management in Israel, insisting they reopen the account and reinstated Adam Gold’s fake profile and that Facebook obliged.
  8. On March 2018 I’ve tagged in a public post on my Facebook profile the CEO of Facebook Israel, alerting her of this fake account and its true and frightening nature. My post reached many others and triggered an article in Haaretz, a prominent Israeli newspaper.
  9. On March 26, 2018 Facebook eventually caved and took down this fake profile, circulating a PR text to journalists saying they had no choice because Adam Gold was a fake profile.
  10. But two days later on March 28, 2018 this fake profile, the most popular profile on Facebook Israel, was revived again as before, with the help of an Israeli woman living in California by the name of Sharon Horesh.
  11. Sharon Horesh openly and publicly claimed in her Twitter account that although she has no control of Adam Gold’s fake profile she nevertheless provided Facebook with her ID and falsely completed the identification process needed to reinstate Adam Gold’s fake account. Everybody understood that Sharon Horesh is not Adam Gold and that he is still anonymous.
  12. That day Adam Gold published his first post after his remarkable revival, targeting me directly. He claimed that his 48 hours shut down by Facebook was because I have published baseless conspiracy theories and lies concerning his nature. Basically he claimed that I was a clueless idiot and a lier. He also admitted he was still anonymous.
  13. Hundreds of thousands of his admirers and followers believed him. Why shouldn’t they? After all Facebook did reinstate his profile, so obviously his large flock concluded that Facebook checked my public claims concerning Adam Gold and agreed with him that I’m indeed clueless, otherwise they would not have allowed him to return.
  14. It took me four more months of intensive work to “persuade” Facebook, 3 weeks ago, to shut down Adam Gold for good . “Luckily”, the lies Gold wrote against me, provided me with a strong defamation case against Facebook, otherwise he would still be online today.
  15. It has been three weeks since he disappeared and the Israeli public knows nothing about the true nature of Adam Gold and the danger he posed to our democracy. Facebook is mum. Many here still believe that I wanted to silence Adam Gold and prevent his right to free speech because of political reasons and that I somehow managed to persuade Facebook to go along with my plan.
  16. My best guess, after 7 months of extensive investigation I volunteered to do, is that Adam Gold was a long term deceitful venture meant to gather enormous and unprecedented sway with a large slice of Facebook’s right wing voters here and that his end game was to continue building his credibility until just hours before election day when he would have had the opportunity to spread carefully crafted lies about certain right wing politicians here which would have caused hundreds of thousands of right wing Israelis to vote for Netanyahu’s party instead.
  17. Anyone who knows anything about our political system, knows this kind of manipulation would have had an enormous effect.

I believe the lawsuit I’ve launched would shed light on this scandal BUT the reason I need this story exposed in the US before the lawsuit resolves and the truth revealed is the Facebook can drag the proceedings in order for them to be concluded only after the elections here and obviously this would go against the interests of the Israeli citizens.

That is why, irrespective of the lawsuit I want to apply public pressure on Facebook so it would provide all the info it gathered on this manipulation ASAP, just like it did recently when the fake profiles meant to tilt the US mid-term elections were exposed.

I would appreciate any help in sharing this story. Thanks.

** UPDATE **

Facebook asked the judge for a 30 days extension to respond to my claims. The current deadline is now November 14, 2018

Entrepreneur & lawyer but busy making other plans. Obsessive when the need arises. Your typical whistle-blower. https://twitter.com/Itai_Leshem