For weeks, many Holocaust scholars and anti-Semitism experts such as members of the Anti-Defamation League have raised this issue with members of Facebook’s senior management. The stock reply they received included the following:
“We do not remove lies or content that is inaccurate — whether it’s denying the Holocaust, the Armenian massacre or the fact that the Syrian government has killed hundreds of thousands of its own people. This is because we believe that people should be able to say things on Facebook that are wrong or untrue, even when they are offensive.”
But earlier this month, Facebook — along with Apple and YouTube — took down the accounts of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars organization. A YouTube spokesperson said, “When users violate … policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment … we terminate their accounts.” Facebook said, about InfoWars, “Upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence … and using dehumanizing language … which violates our hate speech policies.”
Because of this contradiction with the way Facebook has dealt with Holocaust denial, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, the Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, and the 370 worldwide organizational members of the Association of Holocaust Organizations has posted a petition on Change.org, demanding that Facebook no longer allows Holocaust denial misinformation to be posted on its platform.
Thoughts, CAF? I’m a proponent of free speech, though that doesn’t seem to apply to a company like Facebook.