Israel’s Maariv daily newspaper ran a bogus quote attributed to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, apparently after mistaking a satirical Facebook post for news.
The post, published Sunday by popular Israeli social media personality Raz Tsipris, used a fake comment from Zuckerberg, which purported to be a response to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s accusation that the Facebook founder was partially responsibility for the deaths of Israelis in terror attacks.
“I heard the words of MK Gilad Erdan and it saddens me that he chose to go to the counties of shaming,” the post read in purposely poor English.
The post itself was a reference to former Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal’s initial response earlier this year to sexual harassment accusations leveled at him — in a Facebook post — by a former employee. A more accurate translation would have said, “It saddens me that he chose to resort to shaming.”
The episode involving Magal and the former employee, journalist Racheli Rottner, triggered a national debate about the legitimacy of “shaming” on Facebook.
Tsipris’s post Sunday garnered almost 700 “Likes” and was shared multiple times. Apparently, it was also seen by someone in Maariv’s newsroom.
“Yesterday,” the report in the paper says, “Mark Zuckerberg, one of the owners of the social network Facebook, responded to the statement by Minister Gilad Erdan, who accused him of failing to prevent incitement… ‘It saddens me that Minister Erdan chose to resort to shaming,’ Zuckerberg wrote in a post.”
Tsipris seems pleased to have been the source of the error in Maariv. In a subsequent post, he writes, “OK, wow. Wow, wow, wow, Maariv, wow. Yesterday I fabricated a post by Mark Zuckerberg on my own Facebook page. Today Maariv ran an item about it. I’ve never been so proud of myself and so ashamed of print media.”