The Shmooze

Tila Tequila Banned From Facebook

By Anne Cohen

Did you think Tila Tequila had come to her senses and deleted her Facebook rant defending Hitler?

Wrong. The D-list celebrity was banned from Facebook for 30 days and her previous entries removed from the social media platform.

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Sexy Selfie Gets Knesset Rebuked

By Anne Cohen

Facebook/Boaz Toporovsky
Boaz Toporovsky

Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein is not pleased with the sex appeal of some its members.

In a letter sent out to all the MKs, Edelstein rebuked them all over a series of embarassing events, which he said “cheapen” the Knesset, Haaretz reported.

Though nothing specific was mentioned, the timing led Senior MKs to believe that the chairman’s ire was specifically targeted at one member: MK Boaz Toporovsky (Yesh Atid), a.k.a Sexy Selfie Guy, who posted an almost shirtless picture of himself pouting at the camera to Facebook early Tuesday, before catching some shut-eye on his office couch after a lengthy debate.

“It’s the first time I’ve slept at the Knesset,” the caption read.“I hope that it won’t hurt too much. Luckily, there are showers in the office.”

According to Haaretz, the Chairman’s Office received a number of complaints.

“It cannot be that an MK uploads an image in which he looks like a playboy,” one Knesset official said.“This harms the Knesset’s image and status.”

Edelstein’s letter added that “recently, more than a few complaints have piled up in my office, relating to the conduct of some MKs. The complaints, from civilians and employees, are mostly regarding the conduct of MKs inside the Knesset chamber. Among other complaints, it came up that MKs are eating and drinking during sessions, taking pictures with, and speaking on cellular devices, or displaying captions above their stands, to show their position on an issue.”

Toporovsky’s response to the streams of comments to the picture was: “from now on I’ll sleep in a suit.”

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: social media, yesh atid, yuli edelstein, sleep, sexy face, politician, knesset, jewish, israeli, facebook, gaffe, boaz toporovsky

Israeli Politician Posts Sexy Selfie

By Anne Cohen

Boaz Toporovsky/Facebook
Boaz Toporovsky

When one is a politician, one can usually count on losing sleep in favor of debating important public issues.

But one such public servant, Yesh Atid first-time MK Boaz Toporovsky, took this to a whole new level. On Monday night (Israeli time), during a heated debate about women’s right to a say in the appointment of religious judges, the 33-year-old lamented his need to grab some zzzs on his office couch — and posted a sultry picture to go with it.

4:51 a.m. — I’m going to sleep in my Knesset chambers,” Toporovsky wrote on Facebook, before giving a detailed account of his debating exploits.

“And now,” he concluded, “sleeping in the Knesset for the first time, but there’s no point going home because the day is already beginning. I hope this won’t hurt too much… at least there’s a shower in my office.”

As expected, the Internet exploded. Followers of Toporovsky’s official page were quick to tell him exactly what they thought of his sexy goodnight face.

“Good night, prince… Sweet dreams,” wrote Yair Finkel.

“Whoa, you’re sick in the head,” Yoav Geier added lower in the comments. “You’re an MK, you’re supposed to represent us, the citizens, and you take your picture like some 16-year-old girl? I really hope you’re drunk or you have a good excuse for this.”

Needless to say, the picture launched a thousand memes.

In his defense, once you’ve taken off your shirt, used it as a blanket, arranged your delicately stubbled chin just so and raised your arm to take a picture, posting it to Facebook is just the next logical step.

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Israeli Startup Launches Facebook Death Contest

By Michael Kaminer

YouTube

Israelis are nothing if not practical. So maybe it’s no surprise that an Israeli startup’s behind a new app that sends private messages to one’s dearly beloved after death — or that the Facebook app’s creators are offering a chance at worldwide fame to the (un)lucky participant who dies first.

According to social media digest Mashable, the IfIDie app’s first user with the good fortune to expire after a buffer period of a few months “will have their message shared with the If I Die app community and media outlets.” The app’s tagline: “What will you leave behind?”

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Mayim Bialik Couldn’t Quite Quit Facebook

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Deciding to take a break from Facebook is usually a personal issue — but not in Mayim Bialik’s case. On May 24 the actress declared on her Kveller blog that she was going to stop using social media. But by yesterday, she had already reconsidered and announced that she would be back on Facebook, but with the caveat that she would disable the comment function on her page.

After receiving a particularly bruising beating from commentators, Bialik had decided enough was enough. Why was she getting off Facebook? “Because it’s not working for me. It’s stressful and upsetting,” she explained. “I can’t simply ‘ignore all of those comments’ because I know deep down I’m a great person and ‘who cares what people think anyway?’ It’s about not feeling comfortable being a part of such a discourse anymore.”

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Video: Zuckerberg, the Musical!

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Guess what day it is today?! Yes, it’s Friday…but it’s also Mark Zuckerberg’s big day! If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, then you’ll know that today is Facebook’s IPO (that’s “initial public offering” for the financial anachronisms-challenged), and that it is the largest tech sector IPO ever.

Before the hoody-wearing CEO gets down to the serious business of counting the $18.4 billion this IPO will raise, he should take a fun moment — if he hasn’t already — to watch a cute video called, “Zuckerberg: The Musical!” The video shines a humorous and musical spotlight on the milestones along the way of Facebook’s development from Zuckerberg’s dorm room at Harvard to today’s FB symbol debut on the Nasdaq ticker.

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Bibi’s 5,000 Indonesian Facebook Fans

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no different from the rest of us when it comes to trying to boost our online presence and optimize our social networking reach. You may have heard about his recent efforts to get more people to “like” his official Facebook page, some or which got him into a little trouble.

Well, now he’s boasting about the number of “friends” he has (200,000 at last count). The only problem is that — at least in this case — the numbers kind of lie.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Shelly Yachimovich’, Indonesia, Benjamin Netanyahu, Facebook

Shimon Peres Wishes Iran a Happy New Year

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Hot on the heels of the Facebook love fest between everyday Israelis and Iranians, the social media-savvy Israeli President Shimon Peres is sending out special videotaped Nowruz greeting to the Iranian people. Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is being celebrated today.

In his taped message, Peres comes across as genuinely concerned about the Iranian people. But let’s not kid ourselves — given the tense situation over Iran’s nuclear build up, it is not just by chance that the president is making this gesture now.

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Shimon Peres Heads To Facebook HQ

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Israeli President Shimon Peres may be 88 years old, but when it comes to harnessing the power of social media, he is right up there with the best — and youngest — of them.

AbbaNibi newswire reports that on Tuesday, Peres will be visiting Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley to launch an international Facebook page. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 27, will be on hand to greet Peres and to be the first to “like” his new page. Facebook will also broadcast a live chat between Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and the Israeli President.

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Madonna Fans To Bibi: Hold Off On Iran Strike

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Madonna’s upcoming concert in Tel Aviv, or the Iranian nuclear crisis: Which is more important? The answer is obvious to some of the Queen of Pop’s Israeli fans.

Confident that they have their priorities straight and that their cause is just, Madonna fans are pleading with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hold off on striking Iran until after the singer’s concert has taken place at the Ramat Gan Stadium on May 29. And just like any other protest group, they have set up a Facebook page — this one replete with a photo of Bibi posing with Madge, likely taken on one of her recent visits to the Holy Land). It’s called, “Bibi, No War with Iran until after Madonna’s performance on May 29.” Not too snappy a title, but they do get their point across.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Ramat Gan Stadium, Madonna, Israel, Iran, Facebook, Benjamin Netanyahu

Gilad Shalit Joins Facebook

By Haaretz

Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier who was released from captivity in October after five and a half years, has recently opened a Facebook page.

Shalit still has a limited amount of friends, some of them his family members. Shalit also humorously joined the group calling for his release – though obviously it is no longer active.

Shalit has chosen for now not to make his account public, and there are no options for adding him as a friend, writing on his wall or sending him messages. His profile picture is a blurry image of him in yellow and blue – the colors of his favorite basketball team Maccabee Tel Aviv. The only link Shalit has posted so far is “watch the craziest dunk of 2011.”

When Shalit was abducted Facebook was still in its early days, and was mainly used by students at Harvard University and other campuses. However, the more popular it became around the world as well as in Israel, it became an important platform in the struggle for his release.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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Israeli Man Changes Name to Mark Zuckerberg

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

What is it with Israelis and names inspired by Facebook?

Six months after we brought you the story of an Israeli couple who named their newborn daughter “Like,” the weekend edition of Yediot Aharonot reports that a 32-year-old Israeli man has legally changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg.

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Shalit Shirt Inspires Fashion Trend

By Renee Ghert-Zand

iStockphoto

Many questioned Hamas’s fashion sense when they saw the civilian outfit that Gilad Shalit was dressed in for his transfer to Israel during last week’s prisoner swap. They thought it was far from flattering to his thin, malnourished frame and gaunt face. It turns out, however, that Gazans actually thought the collared, checkered shirt the Israel soldier was wearing was the height of style. Consequently, it has been dubbed the “Gilad Shirt” and turned into a must-have item.

Large numbers of the exact shirt, as well as some very similar ones, are now on display in Gazan stores and markets for an average price of $16.50. They are being snatched up like hotcakes, and Gazan shoppers have expressed concern that they will run out.

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Bibi, Shalit and the ‘Forrest Gump’ Effect

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Amichai Yacobbi

Some tech-savvy Israelis thought that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was hogging the spotlight yesterday as the nation celebrated the return of Gilad Shalit after five years and four months in Hamas captivity.

So, they started a creative Facebook meme to express their frustration with Bibi’s perceived need to be in so many photos of the soldier’s homecoming. Facebook users, calling Bibi the Forrest Gump of Gilad Shalit Day, began Photoshopping his face (taken from the now iconic picture of Shalit’s first embrace with his father) into images of historic events he has absolutely nothing to do with.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tom Hanks, Gilad Shalit, Forrest Gump, Facebook, Benjamin Netanyahu

Facebook-Like Site FaceGlat To Serve Gender-Segregated Haredi Population

By Renee Ghert-Zand

The term “Glatt kosher” doesn’t just refer to meat anymore. It’s now for social networking, too — at a website that is specifically designed to avoid the meat market aspects of the online world. Ynet reports that there is now a Facebook-type site, aimed at the gender-segregated Haredi population, called FaceGlat.

If you are a guy who trolls social networking sites to get a glimpse of some hot babes, or a woman searching for a nice guy to date, then FaceGlat will not be to your taste. Women and men may only sign up for separate sections of the site, and cannot access accounts of anyone of the other gender. It’s a tsnius (modesty) thing.

The brainchild of 25-year-old Yaakov Swisa of Kfar Chabad in Israel, FaceGlat packs loads of filters to block specific words or types of comments, and to prevent men from sneaking into the women’s section or women from peaking over the virtual mechitzah. The site is still in a start-up phase, and Swisa has said that its setup may need to be tweaked “if the website in its current format leads to ‘negative activity,’ as defined by Swisa, or attracts people who don’t even own a Facebook account at the moment,” according to Ynet.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Modesty, Haredi, Gender-Segregated, Facebook, FaceGlat, Yaakov Swisa

White House Switchboard Swamped With Calls for Pollard's Temporary Release

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Supporters of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard jammed the White House’s switchboard over the weekend, demanding his temporary release so that he could attend his father’s funeral today. Morris Pollard died at the age of 95 in South Bend, Ind., on the morning of Saturday, June 18.

Angry that President Obama did not heed requests to grant Pollard “compassionate leave” to visit with his dying father, activists overloaded the White House phone system with calls to say that Pollard should at least be allowed to part with his father at the funeral. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in response to more than a week of pressure from the pro-Pollard lobby, agreed Sunday to issue a formal diplomatic request through Israel’s embassy in Washington, asking for Pollard to be allowed to attend the funeral.

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Facebook Revolutions: The Great Israeli Cottage Cheese Boycott?

By Renee Ghert-Zand

iStockphoto

While the Arabs are organizing historic political uprisings on Facebook, Israelis are using the social networking website to protest the high price of cottage cheese.

Fed up with the nearly NIS 8 price for a 250 g container of the popular dairy food (it accounts for 28% of all cheese sales in Israel), consumer groups set up two Facebook pages to protest the regular price increases on the product that have been taking place in the past half year — going so far as to urge people to boycott cottage cheese for an entire month. These Facebook groups have garnered thousands of “friends” in just a few days.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Protest, Kadima Party, Israel, Facebook, Cottage Cheese, Binyamin Netanyahu

Israelis Can't Get Enough Facebook

By Renee Ghert-Zand

We all know that Israelis spend more time than the rest of us on certain things, like defending their country, starting cool hi-tech start-ups, and eating really good hummus. What we might not have guessed is that they also spend more time on social networking websites than we do.

According to a global survey conducted and released earlier this week by comScore, Inc., a source of digital market intelligence, Israel ranked highest in time spent per visitor on social networking sites, averaging 10.7 hours per person for the month of April. The average Israeli apparently socializes online far more than his American or Canadian counterpart, who logs only 5.2 and 6.4 hours per month, respectively. Russia came in second with 10.3 hours of social networking per visitor, followed by Argentina with 8.4 hours, Philippines with 7.9 hours and Turkey with 7.8 hours.

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Weiner Admits to Online Relationships, Sending Twitter Photo

By Forward Staff

It was painful to watch.

After Rep. Anthony Weiner became the latest politician to fall prey to the allures of the wicked Internet, the congressman held a press conference on Monday afternoon to address the scandal.

“I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people I care for the most,” Weiner told the world, referring to the inappropriate photos of him (in one case, shirtless) that are now circulating around the web.

During the conference, in which Weiner apologized for a about half hour straight (We told you it was painful to watch), he revealed that he communicated with about six women through social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as via emails sent from his Blackberry.

He also said that the now-famous Twitter underwear photo transmission was actually a mistake on his part. Apparently he meant to send it directly to someone, and instead posted it on his account.

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Following Facebook Fury, Coldplay Removes ‘Freedom for Palestine’ Link

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

Coldplay appears to have changed its mind about the Arab-Israeli conflict — at least when it gets in the way of promoting the band’s latest single.

A week after promoting a song called “Freedom for Palestine,” the English pop/rock group has removed the link from its Facebook page, where it attracted thousands of comments, some very ugly in tone.

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