20 Dicembre 2010

Facebook, Holocaust Denial, and Anti-Semitism 2.0


Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs - www.jcpa.org


Andre Oboler

Facebook, Holocaust Denial, and Anti-Semitism 2.0

“In May 2009, Facebook went into damage control in response to the media interest in Holocaust-denial groups it hosted. This occurred six months after Facebook was notified that such groups not only breached its Terms of Service but were illegal under national laws banning Holocaust denial in several countries.

” Between receiving the complaints and responding to the media interest, Facebook rolled out new terms of use. These removed the explicit ban on content that is “harmful,” “defamatory,” “abusive,” “inflammatory,” “vulgar,” “obscene,” “fraudulent,” “invasive of privacy or publicity rights,” or “racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.” The reference to local, regional, and national laws also vanished.

” Facebook’s eventual response, defending the posting of Holocaust denial, highlighted a dramatic change in direction for a company that once sought to provide a “safe place on the internet” and stated that “certain kinds of speech simply do not belong in a community like Facebook.” Facebook has through ignorance created an anti-Semitic policy platform where the only explicitly allowed hate is that, within certain parameters, directed against Jews.

“Holocaust-denial groups should be removed from Facebook because Holocaust denial is a form of anti-Semitism. Such content represents a clear expression of hate and is therefore inconsistent with basic standards of decency and even Facebook’s new Terms of Service. Holocaust denial also constitutes a threat to the safety of the Jewish community. Such a ban would not be inconsistent with First Amendment rights in the United States, and would be wholly consistent with hate speech bans that exist in much of Europe.