Jenni Frazer
Jenni Frazer

It’s official: social media has gone to the dogs

Mark Zuckerberg's post of his dog drew thousands of angry comments. (Screenshot via Jewish News and JTA)
Mark Zuckerberg's post of his dog drew thousands of angry comments. (Screenshot via Jewish News and JTA)

I was going to write this week about one more high-flown, portentous issue to which we all ought to be paying more attention, but the truth is it’s too hot, and I am just putting off the evil hour when I have to go and do something towards tidying and cleaning, which I very much don’t want to do.

Instead, I draw your attention to the case of Mark Zuckerberg’s dog, who is winningly named Beast, and is a Hungarian Puli. Think of a white kitchen mop with legs, or Boris Johnson’s hair-don’t, whichever comes to mind sooner.

Anyhow, for reasons best known to himself, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive and co-founder of Facebook, decided to dress up the hapless hound.

Bad enough that the poor benighted animal has a pelt so overgrown that current weather must be unspeakable for it. And bad enough that anyone thinks dressing up dogs at all, or anthropomorphising them any more than is strictly necessary, is a good idea.

But, you know, rich men and their toys and all that. So Zuckerberg decided to display Beast in his full glory: in a kippah and dog-sized tallit, just to show that his given name is (probably) Beast Ben-Moshe Zuckerberg, in other words a Jewish dog in a Jewish household and aaww, isn’t that cute?

Well, no. No, it isn’t. Not even halfway to cute. Because, predictably enough to everyone except, presumably, Mark Zuckerberg, who appears to live on another planet when it comes to social media and its adjunct effect, he got hit with a ton of abuse about the picture of Beast.

Actual, 24-carat antisemitism and anti-Israel abuse, even, as some pained defenders tried to point out, when the dog and its kippah “had nothing to do with Israel”. Goodness knows what would have happened if Zuckerberg had tried to dress Beast in an Israel Defense Forces uniform.

It would, as has so often been said, take a heart of stone not to laugh at Zuckerberg and his ridiculous cosplay pet, though I ought to say my ridicule is reserved for the Facebook head honcho and not the animal, which presumably had no say in the matter.

A po-faced report recorded: “Some of the responses included antisemitic rhetoric and imagery.

Many contained the phrase ‘Israel ISREAL terrorism’, and some contained caricatures with large noses. One showed a foot stomping on an image of the Israeli flag”.

Stop, stop, it’s too hot to laugh. Then the American Jewish Committee waded in with a stern reminder that “no one is safe from Jew-hatred. Not even Mark Zuckerberg’s dog”, as though Zuckerberg and his pet were some sort of protected species about whom nothing even faintly critical must be uttered.

There is a faintly serious point to this. For some, there is absolutely nothing positive that can be said about Jews online, without triggering an avalanche of looney-tunes propaganda, frequently, though not always, nothing to do with the original commonplace posting.

And these people are… come on, now, all together: BARKING mad.They did not PAWS for thought. They are DOGGED in their dislike.

I told you it was hot.

About the Author
Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist.
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