Facebook is facing pressure by a Texas attorney to have the site remove pages and groups that promote the denial of the Holocaust, a movement that seeks to minimize or deny the claims made by Jews during World War II, which about six million Jews were killed by the Nazis.
The attorney, Brian Cuban, is the brother of Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and has been trying to get groups that deny the Holocaust to be removed. These groups have not been removed as of yet, despite, as he pointed out, that Facebook has removed groups based on complaints.
Brian Cuban is of Russian Jewish decent and has said has written about his fight on his website, The Cuban Revolution.
“This isn’t a freedom-of-speech issue. Facebook is free to set the standard that they wish,” Cuban said. Facebook’s spokesman Barry Schnitt has said that the company is in agreement, the only problem is that they suffer a dilemma of whether people have the right to discuss such issues.
Holocaust denial is currently illegal in a number of countries in Europe, including Austria, Germany, Romania, Switzerland, France, Poland and Israel. It is also illegal in the European Union under the European Union Directive for Combating Racism and Xenophobia (2007).
Despite this, groups are starting out – mainly in America, where they are “untouchable” because EU jurisdiction, obviously, does not reach out in the United States. One of the groups, “Holocaust: A Series of Lies” (despite saying it is in America, its creator is in Pakistan), has written this in its description: “Well Come to the community it is only for those who have brain to think that Holocaust is a biggest lie it is drama by Jews which has no last episode.”
One user wrote on its Facebook wall, “How can they allow all the Israeli run brainwashing in our media and not allow something as simple as rebuttle (sic).”
Because of the mass number of social networking sites, groups can be started almost instantly that could promote Holocaust denial, and it is much easier because of the anonymity of the web. The Jewish Internet Defence Force, a group who monitors and eradicate anti-Semitic content, has a clear stance on the matter.
“Facebook should not provide a platform for hatred, especially as it is against their TOS,” its spokesperson named David told CNN. CNN has withheld his last name because of death threats against him. “Holocaust denial is illegal in 13 countries and represents a form of Jew hatred and hate speech in general.”
The group was successful in removing the group “Israel Is Not A Country! Delist It From Facebook As A Country.”
Despite Australia having not made Holocaust denial illegal, we will not post the link to the anti Semitic group as our audience, despite being a .com.au domain, extends to Europe.