Cody Stocker ’17 reported this week that he had seen paid Facebook advertisements calling for Hamzeh Daoud ’20 to be fired from his Resident Assistant position. For multiple days, three such ads could be found on the page See4Yourself, which, along with the page UC4Yourself, is part of an online campaign sponsored by the Israeli-American Council. All three ads from See4Yourself have since been removed from Facebook.
Many have criticized these paid advertisements as excessive action taken by those who seek to remove Daoud, who last week posted a status that originally threatened to “physically fight” Zionists, from his staffing job in Norcliffe, which he is set to begin in September. As of Thursday night, the University is still looking into the matter before taking decisive action.
In a Facebook post of his own, Stocker described the ads as “an attempt to rile up people in the community to attack a student.”
Stocker noted that the ad he saw was targeted at men aged 25-34 in the Stanford area. In response to Stocker’s post, a friend wrote, “PSA you can report [F]acebook pages for harassment.”
Two of the ads led to the same Change.org petition, started on Tuesday by a user named NYC4IL, which is also the name of a pro-Israel organization based in New York City. The public NYC4IL Twitter account also posted the petition. The petition to “Fire Stanford RA on Basis of Explicit Threats, Hate Speech, to Ensure Dorms are Safe Space” had received over 300 signatures as of Thursday night.
The third ad on the page led to an email template calling for the University to fire Daoud. There were also directions to send the email to Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole.
Neither the Change.org petition nor the email template confirm who created the materials. The Daily has reached out to NYC4IL and See4Yourself for comment. See4Yourself wrote in a statement to The Daily that the organization is “deeply saddened and concerned” by Daoud’s Facebook post.
“We believe that any person who supports justice, equality and a society that rejects violence on college campuses, should see this story as a red line that was crossed, and should push to make sure everyone understands this is repugnant and will not be tolerated at Stanford,” See4Yourself wrote.
See4Yourself did not give a reason for the removal of its paid Facebook ads. NYC4IL has not responded to The Daily’s request for comment.
“Somebody hiding behind a questionable account is paying money to harass a college student, and that is despicable and wrong,” Stocker wrote.
SCR vice president Philip Eykamp ’20 confirmed in an email to The Daily that SCR is not involved with the paid advertisements, nor is SCR affiliated with See4Yourself. Eykamp added that SCR would have run its own paid ads if deemed appropriate by the organization. On Wednesday, SCR publicized an email campaign calling for Daoud to be fired.
Stanford Jewish Voice for Peace president Emily Wilder ’20, who is a close friend of Daoud, suggested that the Facebook ads were funded by “off-campus political bodies” looking to single Daoud out.
“The ads are again demonstrative of what we and others have pointed out time and time again — that institutional power is disproportionately mobilized against Palestinian student activists,” Wilder wrote. “It’s a troubling and telling display of intimidation, and we call on the Stanford community to not stand for it.”
This post has been updated to confirm that SCR is not involved with the paid ads from See4Yourself.
This post has also been updated with details on organizations involved with the paid advertisements and to reflect that the three paid advertisements from See4Yourself are no longer active. A statement from See4Yourself has also been added.
Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.