According to this rather vague report from JTA, and an equally vague yet back-story rich piece in HaAretz, the owner and three executives of BeHadrei Haredim were arrested yesterday (Sunday) on charges of extortion.  It seems that, in exchange for cash from leading Haredi figures, the accused promised to manipulate their website by deleting negative comments from the talkbacks or promoting complimentary puff pieces.   (I guess if the money was not forthcoming, suddenly, negative comments would swarm like locust or rain down like hail from the skies and one’s reputation would be slain quicker than the first-born of Egypt.)  A gag order prevents the release of any more information or pun-ishing Pessah similes.

More importantly, this alleged act of extortion, like the earlier hacker attack, demonstrates that, despite all the rhetoric, there is pervasive internet use in the Haredi community.  “They” have joined “us” in the 21st century and, as the gagged pieces semi-report, “they” have joined for good …and for ill.

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