Craig Lipton reported the offending email and reached out to the sender. (Photo/Courtesy Lipton)
Craig Lipton reported the offending email and reached out to the sender. (Photo/Courtesy Lipton)

S.F. Nextdoor user receives anti-Semitic rant from fellow user referring to ‘Jew virus’

The popular website Nextdoor purports to “cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on,” according to its mission statement.

That’s not what San Francisco real estate developer Craig Lipton experienced when he received an email from his Nextdoor account on April 10, alerting him to a new posting, allegedly from one of his Nob Hill neighbors.

The email included the subject: “Opinion: Globalist Jews are destroying this country like they destroyed Weimar Germany.”

By the time Lipton clicked on the link, Nextdoor administrators had removed the post. However, his email showed some of the text (which he shared with J.), including: “Who else here thinks the current events mirror those of pre-World War I, when Globalist Jews turned the world against Germany? Except this time the USA is Weimar Republic. The globalist Jew virus is backfiring …”

“I was deeply disturbed by the posting,” Lipton, 53, told J. “Not so much that this sentiment exists, as I live in the real world, but was upset that Nextdoor selected [that] posting to send by emails to its community.”

It didn’t end there. Lipton reported the offending email and post to Nextdoor, per its online submission form.

He also reached out to the alleged poster, Jerry Ho, to ask “what possessed him to make such a posting” and to verify that Ho’s account had not been hacked.

“His response was as offensive as the post itself,” Lipton said.

Ho wrote back: “Are you that blind to not see the Jew banksters are getting trillions in future tax dollars … because their bets with our currency failed? … They dry-ran the plandemic … We lost a lot of civil liberties after 9/11 and now we are gunna lose more after this Jew virus.”

Are you that blind to not see the Jew banksters are getting trillions in future tax dollars … because their bets with our currency failed?

Nextdoor, a global company based in San Francisco, has a guideline that allows it to remove users who put up “posts or comments that discriminate against, threaten or insult groups based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, age, veteran status or disability.”

Lipton also reported the incident to the Anti-Defamation League and the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council, and he filed a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Lipton told J. that Nextdoor did take the step of disabling Ho’s account.

The ADL acknowledges an uptick in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as anti-Chinese hate speech due to the virus’s origins.

In a March 20 USA Today op-ed written by ADL Executive Direction Jonathan Greenblatt and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, the authors noted that “blaming Jews for the spread of diseases and other societal ills has remained a key feature of anti-Semitism for centuries … now we have Covid-19, where both Jewish Americans and Americans of Chinese descent are being blamed for spreading the virus, even when scientists are telling us emphatically that this disease is not being transmitted by any one religious or ethnic group.”

Lipton is a member of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco whose children attended preschool there and then went to elementary school at Brandeis Hillel Day School. Currently sheltering in place in Sonoma County, he believes Nextdoor needs to “improve their methodology” of selecting which posts get sent as emails to neighbors.

“They should also send an apology to everyone who received the posting and confirm they are working to prevent it from happening again,” he said.

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a J. staff writer. He retired as news editor in 2020. Dan can be reached at dan@jweekly.com.