Facebook will not entirely ban anti-Holocaust groups

Following site complaints, a Facebook spokesperson barry Schnitt has told CNN that certain groups on the world's largest social networking, do harbour 'Nazi ideals'. He continues to to state that Facebook finds Holocaust denial 'repulsive' but will not ban these groups, citing the importance to free speech.

He went on to state, "We want Facebook to be a place where people can discuss all kinds of ideas.

Facebook did go on to say that, these specific groups should be banned where the denial of the Holocaust is illegal, nations including Israel, Germany and France to name but a few.

Facebook is indeed a place where hundreds of different groups can discuss different ideologies. A good example of getting caught up in red tape, should Facebook have to ban anti-Jewish groups for their controversial nature, it would have to ban or at least censor any other controversial group which might, or have already, been created.

Source: Business2Press

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So, by all right are they also closing down the holocaust survivor portion ( I have no clue if there even is one)? I would think that group would be just as offensive to the group of holocaust deniers. You can't play it one way and not the other. Either both should be allowed or neither.

Holocaust denial is 'repulsive' ?
I don't think so.
Foolish and misguided, certainly; repulsive, not at all.

Evolution denial, now that is repulsive.

At least if the idiots are using a site like facebook it is easy to keep an eye on them. Hopefully some smart folks will use the facebook info to steal their identity and empty their nazi bank accounts.

Where is the line drawn and who gets to draw it?

How about a group that believes one gender or race should be subjugated to another?
How about a group that believes their faith has an obligation to destroy non-believers?

Censoring will just drive the ignorant further into the darkness.

Well it's pretty mindboggling in the sense that holocaust deniers come in several different flavors, just like 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Even people who acknowledge that people were put in camps and gassed, etc, but question the NUMBER of people subjected to this treatment, are branded 'deniers'. It always struck me as strange to look at people who think numbers have been historically blown out of proportion (not an uncommon thing), and lump them with nutjobs who say it never happened in the first place and Zionists are out to rule mankind under the guidance of the lizard people who will send Planet X to crash into our planet in 2012 unless we all circumcise our pets.

So uh, I guess what I'm saying is, be careful about generalizing. As far as Facebook groups, well, as long as they aren't harassing people on Facebook, and are just keeping to themselves, I don't see the risk of offending anyone.

C_Guy said,
Facebook must be so proud to be home to groups like that. But if they'd rather be a haven for free sppech then they should not ban any group at all, period, for any reason. Free speech is all or none so I don't see how they can select which groups they will or won't ban. If you claim to be an advocate of free speech then you can't block or ban anyone or any group.

I couldn't agree with you more... So very true

Facebook must be so proud to be home to groups like that. But if they'd rather be a haven for free sppech then they should not ban any group at all, period, for any reason. Free speech is all or none so I don't see how they can select which groups they will or won't ban. If you claim to be an advocate of free speech then you can't block or ban anyone or any group.

Unless you're a totally incompetent hypocrite.

Don't get me wrong. If it were up to me, I'd establish a code of conduct outlining what sorts of material I wouldn't permit on my website. But I can't do that and proclaim free speech at the same time now can I?

I think banning hate groups makes sense but if there is a group of people who want to discuss if Holocaust happened let them do so.

That humans evolved so much socially is not only because they were able to discuss about 'right' ideas but also the wrong ones.

And forbidding to discuss certain things is plain stupid. Shame on Germany and France. It is against the assence of European Union.

I remember once that an author was arrested in Turkey for recognising the Armenian Genocide of early 20th century. In the same period another Turkish author was arrested in Switzerland for not recognising the Armenian Genocide! In my opinion both counries were just wrong.

Wouldn't this groups be illegal like they are in many other countries? (negationism of the WWII genocide is not very legal here over europe)

AFAIK, holocaust denial isn't illegal in the EU overall, but it might be in SOME EU nations. It's quite legal in the UK, for example.

IMO, Facebook have made the sensible decision here. By attempting to silence such groups, all you REALLY do in the long run is give them a louder voice.

Let them spout their idiocy, where it can be shown for the idiocy it actually is. Silence them, and all you REALLY do is make people wonder WHY they were silenced. That COULD end up lending weight to their idiocy...

I'm also a fan of freedom of speech, but if I were in charge of Facebook I'd remove or censor hate groups. They are free to go setup shop somewhere in their own cornor of the web.

Just like how I'm sure Facebook doesn't allow sex groups and the posting of pornographic pictures and video ("censoring") they shouldn't allow themselves to be a channel for hate groups.

Just to be clear, Facebook or any private website doesn't have a mandate for protecting freedom of speech. The constitution isn't binding on the citizens it is binding on the government.

Frazell Thomas said,
I'm also a fan of freedom of speech, but if I were in charge of Facebook I'd remove or censor hate groups. They are free to go setup shop somewhere in their own cornor of the web.

Just like how I'm sure Facebook doesn't allow sex groups and the posting of pornographic pictures and video ("censoring") they shouldn't allow themselves to be a channel for hate groups.

Just to be clear, Facebook or any private website doesn't have a mandate for protecting freedom of speech. The constitution isn't binding on the citizens it is binding on the government.


Granted, but since all groups in Facebook are opt in as opposed to opt out, there's no harm in allowing those groups to exist there for whomever decides to join them.

Facebook isn't really a private site per se, but a portal through which each member can create his/her own little corner of the Web. All Facebook is doing is protecting the rights of people to create their own corner filled with generally unpopular ideas. If one has a right to their own corner, one shouldn't be forced to adhere to popular ideas to get that corner.

One might observe that initially the idea of a US Revolution was itself a generally unpopular idea on both sides of the pond. Beware of promoting censorship lest someone find YOUR ideas unpopular.

You'd never see me join one of these groups, bit I wouldn't suggest denying others the right to do so.

you have to take into account that since the 90's everything that gets forbidden or banned automatically gets attention and really become bigger, thou i'm not saying that is an argument for everyone to be permitted to do and say whatever they want, i'm more on the idea of not making a martyr of them and at the same time you can keep an eye on them...remember keep your friends close and your enemies closer....the hiding and clandestinity only harvest deceit.

QuiescentWonder said,
If either of your two were in charge of Facebook I'd have to stop using it.


...and that would be an option.

Frazell Thomas said,
Just to be clear, Facebook or any private website doesn't have a mandate for protecting freedom of speech. The constitution isn't binding on the citizens it is binding on the government.

True. But it is highly admirable that citizens and the private sector in general try to uphold the ideals of the Constitution themselves. The Constitution is after all made for the public good.

Frazell Thomas said,
I'm also a fan of freedom of speech, but if I were in charge of Facebook I'd remove or censor hate groups. They are free to go setup shop somewhere in their own cornor of the web.

Just like how I'm sure Facebook doesn't allow sex groups and the posting of pornographic pictures and video ("censoring") they shouldn't allow themselves to be a channel for hate groups.

Just to be clear, Facebook or any private website doesn't have a mandate for protecting freedom of speech. The constitution isn't binding on the citizens it is binding on the government.

I'm pretty sure the constitution is binding for all, after all it's a law. Obviously it is not affected by the parts of it that regulate the government, but Im sure parts of it and lots of law regulate certain privates affair. If the discussion and difussion of anti-holocaust ideas was prohibited by law, then facebook would have to do something.

Good decision by Facebook. There are already many hate groups against different religions and beliefs and this anti-Holocaust group is just another of them. There's not reason this one should be given special treatment if the others can't be shut down too. Good to see Facebook sticking to their policies despite so much pressure.