I am jealous. Chris Matyszczyk, a blogger who for CNET who writes the column, “Technically Incorrect” has the ear of Facebook. I am an annoying momentary buzz in their ear.
Within a a few days of his posting his piece,”Mark Cuban’s Brother Attacks Holocaust Denial Groups”outlining my efforts to get Facebook to respond to my inquires on why they allow Holocaust Denial groups, they have responded twice. I started my campaign back on Novbember of 2008 and was only able to get a couple Facebook spammy “to who it may concern” answers from them not even addressing the questions I asked.
This all started back in November of 2008. I wrote Alex Wu at Facebook. I told him I was writing an article on Facebook Holocaust Denial Groups. I wanted to get a comment from Facebook before I wrote the story. Here is the email exchange:
From: Facebook Support <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: URGENT: Facebook Groups that support Holocaust Denial
Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 12:46 AM
From: Brian Cuban <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: URGENT: Facebook Groups that support Holocaust Denial
To: “Facebook Support” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 5:38 AM
Peter and Alex:
Thank for your response. It is much appreciated. I understand your response and Facebook’s need to be sensitive to free speech rights. If you review my email to Alex, my question however was specifically referring to the Facebook TOS provision:
“upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that would constitute, encourage or provide instructions for a criminal offense, violate the rights of any party, or that would otherwise create liability or violate any local, state, national or international law.”
Your answer while giving me Facebook’s general policy does not address my specific question.
Since Holocaust Denial is illegal in Germany, why is the above TOS paragraph not applicable or not applicable?
A response would be appreciated. Thank you again for your time in answering these questions.
From: Facebook Support <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: URGENT: Facebook Groups that support Holocaust Denial
Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 10:03 AM
The Facebook Team has received your inquiry. We should get back to you soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our Privacy and Security Help page (http://www.facebook.com/help.php?topic=privacy). There, you’ll find answers to many common questions.
Thanks for contacting Facebook,
The Facebook Team
As you can see, Facebook sent me a “canned” answer regarding their position on controversial groups. They did not address the questions I asked regarding illegality in Germany. I never asked them anything related to Holocaust Denial as a hate group. I wrote again pointing this out. They sent me an even more egregious canned answer. One they send out to every Facebook user who writes in with a concern. That was the last I heard from Facebook.
Fast forward to May 2009. I read an article describing A “Days Of Remembrance Event” put on by the National Holocaust Museum. President Obama spoke at the event, condemning Holocaust Denial.
I saw this news event a a great opportunity to once again bring the issue of Holocaust Denial on Facebook to the forefront. With President Obama speaking on the subject I knew it would be a talking point on major networks and blogs. A perfect opportunity to once again try to persuade Facebook to at least take a public position with regards to these groups. I proceeded to do some minor rewrites to the old article, adding the quotes by Obama. I posted the new article entitled, “Facebook At Odds With Obama On Holocaust Denial”. My instincts were correct. Many took notice, including, Chris Matyszcyk, a prominent blogger for CNET. He picked up on it and wrote his own article entitled “Mark Cuban’s Lawyer Attacks Facebook Over Holcaust Denial Groups. Facebook responded immediately:
- Hi there, I?m a spokesman for Facebook. We weren?t given an opportunity to participate in the story so I?m including our comment here. Sorry it is so long but this is a complex issue and we want to explain our side as clearly as possible.We take the user experience on Facebook very seriously, have developed policies in our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to protect this experience, and will react quickly to take down groups that violate our policies. Specifically, we are sensitive to groups that threaten violence towards people and these groups are taken down. We also remove groups that express hatred towards individuals and groups that are sponsored by recognized terrorist organizations. We do not, however, take down groups that speak out against countries, political entities, or ideas. The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving Facebook users the freedom to express their opinions and beliefs ? even those that are controversial or that we may find repulsive ? while also ensuring that individuals and groups of people do not feel threatened or endangered.
When dealing with user generated content on global websites, there are occasions where content that is illegal in one country, is not (or may even be protected) in another. For example, homosexual content is illegal in some countries, but that does not mean it should be removed from Facebook. Most companies approach this issue by preventing certain content from being shown to users in the countries where it is illegal and that is our approach as well. We have recently begun to block content by IP in countries where that content is illegal, including Nazi-related and holocaust denial content in certain European countries. The groups in question have been blocked in the appropriate countries.
In addition, our user operations team exchanged a few emails with Mr. Cuban on November 11 and 12 of 2008 where we gave a similar explanation to the one above. I understand that he doesn?t like our answer but his claims of a lack of response are not accurate.
Chris, in the future, we?d really appreciate the opportunity to comment. Just send a quick note to me and my colleagues at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do our best to be responsive.
As you can see, Mr. Schnitt uses the some of the same canned hate group language. He does however, go on to address the issue of illegality in other countries in which Facebook has a presence. This was the question I initially asked to be answered but which was never responded to. He also goes on to basically call me a liar as to my previous correspondence with Facebook. I suspect my email, despite Mr. Schnitt’s statement of simply “being to busy”, went unanswered because Holocaust Denial Groups were at that time not being blocked in the appropriate countries. Facebook did not want to draw attention to it by taking a position. It was easier to ignore the issue and me until it reached critical mass.
Mr. Schnitt,s splitting hairs on what a “response” means to save face and cover his ass. To me, to respond means to respond to the question asked, not send me Facebook spam. They never did so I stated that they never responded. In the end Facebook simply did not see me as being influential enough with the masses to bother with a response. It was a critical mass issue. Until a problem facing them reaches critical mass it, it more cost effective from a manpower standpoint for them to do nothing. When CNET’s Chris Matyszcyk and his significant following got a hold of it, critical mass was instantly reached and Facebook responded.
Chris and I then had several Twitter exchanges regarding Facebook’s response, I made some suggestions as to what he may want to address with them in his follow-up. He once again wrote Facebook. They have again responded with appears to be the most detailed explanation they have ever given on Holocaust Denial. It is both informative and disturbing.
“The bottom line is that, of course, we abhor Nazi ideals and find holocaust denial repulsive and ignorant. However, we believe people have a right to discuss these ideas and we want Facebook to be a place where ideas, even controversial ideas, can be discussed. Of course, we have some limits. I’ve discussed these previously and go into them again below.
One thing to consider that someone actually mentioned in the thread was the idea that there may be a benefit to having these ideas discussed in the open.
Would we rather holocaust denial was discussed behind closed doors or quietly propagated by anonymous sources? Or would we rather it was discussed in the open on Facebook where people’s real names and their photo is associated with it for their friends, peers, and colleagues to see?”
While I can not articulate the historical and moral “gut” feeling at the moment, I find Facebook’s position in the last sentence historically naive, and incredibly disturbing in general. Does this statement regarding the benefits of “open discussion” of Holocaust Denial constitute the official position of Facebook? What are we supposed to be discussing openly? The Holocaust is a historical fact not open to intellectual debate. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to discuss Holocaust Denial openly. The only major public forum in which Holocaut Denial is “discussed openly” are Holocaust Revision Conferences. That being said, I certainly do not equate Facebook with Ahmadinejad policies. My point is that to throw out phrases supporting open disucssion of Holocaust Denial without having an understanding of the context of the statement is irresponsible.
I also find it inappropriate and bizarre that Facebook has taken now taken a fatherly “moral stance” on how Holocaust Denial shuld be dealt with. This would appear to be inconsistent with the stated goals of their TOS which is supposed to be objective and not subjective. This new revelation is worthy of further discussion. Are they right? Is this the best way to deal with such groups? Is it appropriate for a Facebook representative to be offering his opinion on such matters. An opinion that is clearly beyond the scope of the Terms Of Service. Has Facebook now taken a moral subjective stance on behalf of all users on how such groups should be dealt with? I think they have some explaining to do.
I suggest that you look at the “charters” of these groups again. They are not simply attacking “countries, political entities, or ideas”, as Barry Schnitt’s email would lead us to believe. Take the following, from a group that wasn’t even on your list, “I Bet I Can Find 1,000,000 Who Deny The Holocaust” (they’ve found 349)
“This legislation was not motivated by petty spite or by economic considerations, but by a determination to free Germany from Jewish influence. When the National Socialists came to power in 1933, Jews were vastly over-represented in the media, in teaching, and in the legal and medical professions. For example, 42 per cent of the physicians practicing in Berlin in 1933 were Jews, as were 48 per cent of the attorneys. To the National Socialists this was an intolerable situation, and they set about remedying it in a typically thorough and efficient manner.
The Jews screamed bloody murder about the National Socialist campaign to take Germany away from them and give it back to the German people. As early as 1934 Jews around the world declared an economic boycott of Germany in retaliation. As it became apparent to them, however, that Adolf Hitler was the most popular leader Germany had ever had, that the National Socialists could neither be bought off nor voted out of office, and that there really was no future for Jews in Germany, they began to look for easier pickings elsewhere. The great majority of them eventually emigrated…The Nazi treatment of Jews was no different from what the Allies did to their enemies in World War II.”
Also, I’m still on the fence as to whether the new TOS change anything in this debate.
Ian; Maybe you're right, that the Nazis treated the Jews no different that the Allies did their enemies. But then again, you're comparing a situation of war of two sides to a 'genocide' mass extermination of the Jewish race. Maybe it's because my grandparents (whom I just came back from dinner with) are both survivors themselves, maybe it's because of the fact that my grandfather witnessed his brother hanged, parents gassed and cousins shot execution style one-by-one (he was 8 years old at the time), hell, maybe all the Jews 'made up' the Holocaust as part of their 'evil plot' of nothing.
What did the Jewish people ever do to deserve this? Let's be honest; the world hates us because they think we run everything. Aside from the fact that you don't see Jews executing random unarmed civilians, I'd think that participating in a society to make for a better place and world to live would be a good thing.
How in your right mind can you possibly compare my whole family that was killed, all 100% innocent blood that couldn't hurt a fly, to a situation of war? To me, this is totalitarianism. Hitler was a sick 'visionary' who believed that if the whole country of Germany were exactly like him, they'd be a better place.
I can't believe that there are actually people out there that believe that the Jews fabricated the Holocaust. I believe that those people are completely oblivious to the facts.
To speak of a genocide of this magnitude, where 6,000,000 deaths (that's six MILLION) were involved, you're debates are nothing more than products of either acquired hatred or nonfactual pieces of history.
I sit there eating dinner with my grandparents realizing how happy they are to see me and my wife (newly married), while my grandfather knows if he wouldn't have been as lucky as the rest of his family (immediate and distant), he would have ended up with their bodies, hidden and burnt in ditches because they were nothing more than 'evidence' to a mass-extermination, and I wouldn't be here writing this to you tonight.
My grandfather eventually came to the USA and worked an honest living in Queens, NY for over 40 years cutting and shaping diamonds. He was a hard-working member of the American workforce, who paid taxes just like you and built towards a better society just like you. He never corrupted or hurt anyone, so you tell me, why would you have pulled the trigger if you were the one wearing that SS uniform with a weapon pointed at him, an 8 year old boy who just lost everything they ever knew right in front of his own eyes? I guess these are the rules of engagement in war according to your philosophy, right?
Maybe we'll talk about my grandmother's family another time.
You just wasted a lot of breath. Notice that I was quoting someone else to prove that the Facebook groups are in fact antisemetic (the quote being from one of the charters). I think that the quote is disgusting and I basically share your views. Mass killing, as in normal war, is very different than orchestrated genocide. I hope that my comment doesn't fool others in to thinking I'm some kind of denier; I though I had made it clear…
1) nothing in that quote you gave was "anti-semitic." It was stating historical evidence. Faulty or not, it was not saying "The Jews deserved to die, so f 'em." It just stated the history as they see it. What is wrong with that?
2) While Jews (which are a RELIGIOUS group, not a RACIAL one–most Jews in Palestine right now are Khazarians–Europeans, not Arabs) have been persecuted and during WWII they were victims of genocide by the Nazis, so were just as many Christians. In fact, during the same period, more Russians were killed by Stalin than were by Germans–farm more than the Jews of the holocaust. This is also historical FACT, but I won't stop you from attempting to refute it if you'd like.
Unless these people spew straight-forward, obvious bile against one group of people or another, I see no reason to stop them from speaking. Why is it that anyone who opposes Zionism, questions the holocaust, or complains about the policies of the State of Israel is immediately called a Jew-hater just for doing so?
If you question the policies of the American President, what Americans really did during WWII, or what kinds of atrocities we may or may not have committed in Vietnam, I won't immediately label you an "America-hater."
Even if you tell me that because I am of Scandinavian descent and should be punished for the sins of the Vikings, I won't label you a white-hater or someone who's racially bigoted.
I fail to understand why Jewish people are so adamant about the Jewish holocaust of World War II being untouchable territory. The Christians who died in far greater numbers at that same time–often by the same means, or worse–don't do this. Neither do the families of the captured men who suffered long and hard in POW camps. I hear little from the Germans demanding anything from the Russians for the horrible treatment the captured German soldiers underwent.
Nor do I hear anyone demanding that if we don't say only good, acceptable things about the millions (yes, MILLIONS) of German women raped by Russian soldiers during the War, we are anti-German. I don't even hear many people complaining about the ugly, pointless, slaughter that took place during the bombing of Dresden–a city full of unarmed civilians and with no real defense or strategic value.
All I hear is people like you telling me that no one should be allowed to question whether or not, how many, or the circumstances of the mass killings of Jews during the War.
All I hear is people like you telling me that you don't believe any honest debate, any question, or anything that counters your understanding of the facts should be allowed to be uttered.
So tell me, sir, who is really the tyrant? How much debate did Hitler and the Nazis stifle before they commenced with their plans? Mao? Stalin? Mussolini?
Because that is the real issue here. The freedom to question and be free or the tyranny of non-debate.
These people are free to debate whether or not the holocaust happened, the circumstances of it, or anything else they'd like provided they don't incite direct violence against anyone while doing so. You are also free to refute them, call to question their facts and findings, and otherwise participate in the discussion provided you do not make direct attacks against them.
Nobody is free to force the other to keep silent. As soon as that happens, neither party is free any longer.
Just as the Armenian Genocide has been denied for generations by the Turkish government and its apologists, so will the Holocaust face increasing jeopardy of its future denial; especially when its survivors can no longer serve as living proof of the crimes they eye-witnessed and suffered. The burden of proof can shift toward the victims, and an absence of their testimony can enable denial. Hitler's infamous quotation, "Who today remembers the Armenians?", was his leading argument for commencing genocide against the Jews in 1939. We must all remain vigilant and counter denials whenever they arise so that a similar argument using the Jews can never be posed. I applaud your efforts, Mr. Cuban.
I really do agree with this wholeheartedly. In my university we had a professor who denied the Armenian Genocide who the campus paper discovered was taking quite a large amount of money from the Turkish government through a tourism ministry front.
People should read Samantha Power's work on this. She is a leading expert on Holocaust denial and she shows how methods used to deny the Armenian Genocide are now being used to great effect in the new wave of Holocaust denial
I couple of people have brought up the Armenian Genocide. I was frankly unaware and have been reading up on it.
Which University? I'd like to research those campus news articles.
Hello Mr. Cuban:
First off I want to say I am a firm believer in the holocaust and what a tragedy it was. However to ban people even ill informed persons like the one you mention from expressing their opinions is not right. We are a country built on Freedom of Speech even if they are insanely stupid they have the right to express themselves.
Furthermore you are giving these ill-informed persons to much press… Sheesh you put them right in the limelight on CNN. Guaranteeing them way too many hits on their pages and fostering further ridiculousness.
Dear Mr. Cuban,
If you are so afraid of violence, maybe you should move to Israel: they have a nice, tall security wall and they're just giving land to Jews!
Just wanted to briefly say thanks for fighting the good fight. Free speech is overrated. Germany has the right idea.
What about denying that American tax dollars fund the killing and oppression of Palestinians?
If we can debate the history of any topic, then why not the holocaust? History revision is something that all historians take part in. Many people believe that Jews have twisted history and presented a false front. Many believe that The Protocols of Zion was not created by the Russian Gov't but written by Jews themselves as a manual for a Jewish takeover of the world. The fact that it was debunked by a Jew doesn't help. If these assertions are false then standing in the way of discussing them will only lead to more anti-Semetism, not less.
Many things were documented by the Nazis and really can't be argued. Rounding up of Jews, deportations, internment camps, taking of businesses, homes and wealth. ID cards stipulating that you were a Jew (I have seen originals with my own eyes). The death rates in the camps, shooting of Jews. But then we come to the most controversial aspect of the holocaust, 6 million killed by the Nazis by the gas ovens. Why can't we discuss this if there is nothing to hide? Let both sides present their evidence. Was Zyklon B gas used for killing or delousing? Is it potent enough to kill? Were the shower rooms sealed tight enough to contain the gas? Would there have been enough gas to administer a lethal dose? Does Nazi documentation bear out genocide by Zyklon B gas? I see no reason why these questions can't be asked. Any historian knows that history is to delved into, questioned, examined, analytically dissected.
So Mr. Cuban I understand you reasons for opposing these groups on facebook but I respectfully disagree. Unless they spread hate ( & questioning or deny the holocaust by itself does not qualify) then these groups should be free to form on facebook. If you can question the mass killing of Palestinians by Israel then you can question this
I agree. Freedom of speech is a 2-way street.
So let me get this straight, we can listen to Jewish people tell us about the holocaust and cry anti-semitism, yet other people can't openly discuss how they think the holocaust didn't happen? Are you for real? A Facebook group your trying to get removed because you don't agree with it? Really? People are dying all over the world because they are starving and being killed by disease and ware and you have a "campaign" to have Facebook remove a group that you can either be a part of or not – not to mention YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE ON FACEBOOK – all because you disagree with it? Really? Do you not have anything better to do?
I believe the holocaust happened and a big history buff here – but you don't see me campaigning to have people hushed because I don't agree with it. They can discuss anything they want online. Their group does not break any rules on Facebook at all.
You really should put your time and energy into something else. Something worthwhile like maybe spending time with your children or friends? Maybe helping a homeless person or needing family? I guess those don't get you enough press right?
I couldn't agree more with Kris. Some believe, some don't, but everyone is entitled to express their opinion based on our Constitution. Personally, I believe it happened but could care less of what may or may not have been exaggerated. One look at any picture tells me it was a horrible thing. While the past cannot be changed, it does serve as a valuable tool for the future. Frankly, pulling groups off of Facebook, because someone doesn't agree, isn't "kosher" Mr. Cuban, but is a silly endevor at best. Please find a more worthwhile cause for your energy and stop wasting valuable resources the world desperately needs, including your own!……… Bill Altman Cola, SC
There is no doubt in my mind that the Holocaust took place. I have a passion for history and would never deny fact.
However hypocrisy is rampant amongst the Jewish community especially when discussing the Holocaust. The killing of innocent humans is wrong it was wrong when Hitler did it to your people and it was just as wrong when your people brutally murded hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during Al Nakbe (The Palestinian catastrophe) Sir would you deny this? Would you deny that an army of Zionists murdered, raped, and pillaged the Palestinians driving millions from their homes? Id bet you would. I will be the first to admit and apologize for this accusation but if you are going to try and deny people their right to free speech (and I know Facebook is a private forum) please admit that what the Jews did to the Palestinian people is wrong
The same people who deny that the extensively documented holocaust took place also believe that a guy named Jesus was born of a virgin, died and rose from the dead (among other impossible acts) when there was no written record at the time this supposedly happened.
Amazing how people simply see what they want to see.
Actually, Muslims don't believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. And, by this I mean that most of the people that are denying the Holocaust on Facebook are predominantly Muslims. The others are Eastern European.
As an American Jew, I find facebook's position full of corporate-speak & BS. There isn't ANY benefit to "DISCUSS" the HOLOCAUST! It happened, any other response is a hate crime. They publish hate by allowing such "deniers" a voice. By denying a horrendous event that historically occurred is is a offense to all people not just Jews. If we keep bending over backwards for these woefully ignorant closed-minded fools, what's next? Denying Slavery? Do we have to have "discussion" on that hideous part of history?
Simply put. NO DISCUSSION, yank them off of FACEBOOK. Do not give these idiots a voice.
We have branches of the family tree that are bare, gone forever. NEVER AGAIN!
Bare family tree? Have you looked in Israel?
You probably still have ancestors still alive, and your ignorance and blind belief in what you're told keeps you from them. If your desire to continue to be an eternal victim is stronger than your desire to know the truth, you, are the fool.
Using what you just said – then ALL JEWS should NEVER speak of the holocaust again. Ever. Period, the end! Does that make any sense? Nope. So why yank a group because you don't agree with it? What next, stone people who don't agree with you? Please, has all logic gone out the window with people lately?
"The Jews screamed bloody murder about the National Socialist campaign to take Germany away from them and give it back to the German people"????
Back to whom? The Christian Germans? The Muslim Germans? These Jews WERE Gemans! There is no country called Jew so to suggest that German Jews were anything less than German is as idiodic as denying the holocost. Oh wait…..
Holocaust Denial is just an idea. If there is something wrong with it, let us debate it. The truth will out. Crackpot ideas won't survive an open debate.
Oh, and for the record, I don NOT think this Facebook page should be taken down because I believe it should be discussed openly. Where else can one find a source of such entertainment where a bunch of yokels discuss something of no importance? Besides a NASCAR Event (and I appologize to all the NASCAR fans I've surely offended)
People who jump from holocaust discussion to the Israeli conflict are idiots who do not understand the logical rules of rhetoric. You are allowed to debate the relationships between things, but to make them the same thing is pure stupidity. However, I expect nothing less from the vast majority of the under educated masses.
Furthermore that is a difference between scholarly research on the particulars of a war and what happened and the hate speech that Cuban is trying to remove. The fact that most of the commenters here cannot see that is really scary, again proving you are idiots.
These are the simple reductionist facts for you morons:
Holocaust: Jews were Germans, Germans were Jews. Exterminating them from the face of the earth is a crime, the how, what, where and when is of factual interest and should be studied academically.
Israeli Foundation: 80+% of the land was Ottoman state land, left to the conquering powers (and UN) to do with what they wished. 80% of the land was given to the Arabs, 20% to the Jews. The Arabs wanted it all and forced the Jews and the world into defending an internationally recognized agreement. Were there mistakes made on both sides? Where there aggressive Zionists? Where there aggressive Arabs? Duh, yes. In the end the solution isn't to tally up a body count, it is realize that mutual co-recognition will prevail AS IT HAS IN EVERY OTHER BORDER CONFLICT IN THE HISTORY OF TIME.
Lastly, lets see most of you try to be part of a minority culture for a month and this might change you mind. I grow sicker and sicker of having to live in this pseudo-secular-Christian dominated nation. Let's see what it is like for you to dress different, have to take different holidays, etc… in the end this is why I have more solidarity with my Muslim neighbors and wish my neighborhood were Christian free. Christianity is hypocrisy – sorry I have to throw in one opinion.
I believe the Holocaust happened, and that 6 million Jews (and a few hundred thousand others, let's not forget them) were murdered by the Nazis. To me, the nistorical evidence is solid.
However, I believe that people have the right to discuss this issue, deny it happened, and/or question the numbers. What if someone says only 5 million Jews died? 3 million? 1.5 million? At which point do they cross the line that is "on our side" and become "Holocaust deniers"?
Read: The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black
The Jews were not exterminated, they were relocated.
There were no more Jews killed than there were Orthodox Christians or Catholics. And the total casualties of all ethnicities together was nowhere near six million. I mean, seriously….Hitler=Jew, Stalin=Jew, Mussolini=Jew, the list goes on….
It was the illusion of the century.
Why are you afraid to openly discuss the idea that the Holocaust may not have really happened or may not have been as large as has been presented? Are you afraid that there might be something to the remarks? Nowhere on the Facebook denial pages do I see anything like "Let's finish off the Jews," or "Screw the Jews, let's get rid of the rest of them too." All I see is honest questions about the Holocaust itself.
Do you think that there are lobby groups to attack denials over the 50+ million that Stalin slaughtered (all NON Jews) or the 5.5 million Christians that were also killed during WWII by the Nazis? Are we to believe that somehow these are less important events than the Jewish Holocaust? That somehow only the plight of the Jews is unquestionable and incontrovertible?
Why is it that you and your Zionist friends find it so difficult to enter honest debate, honest discussion, and allow multiple sides to this and similar debates? How come anyone, like me, who questions you is never answered with thoughtful prose, but instead just labeled an "anti-Semite" and a "Jew-hater" and made into some kind of villain? What are you afraid of here?
I suspect that what you're afraid of is the truth. You're afraid that the truth will be known that the State of Israel has caused more anti-Semitic death (a "Semite" is an Arab–look it up) than the Nazis did. You might fear that perhaps the numbers might not match. Or the facts might not be entirely what you propose.
Some of us, Mr. Cuban, are a little tired of the constant barrage of hate speech that the Israeli lobby and Zionists like yourself continue to foist upon the world. Your attempts at making us feel guilty are getting more and more transparent and less and less effective.
There is no such thing as complete historical fact. Everything in history is dictated by the winners, who obviously want it slanted to their side, so you can't call the Holocaust an undeniable historical fact, because there are people who deny it (vehemently so). More importantly, Brian Cuban, being Jewish does not, I repeat, DOES NOT give you the right to not be offended. Trying to remove these Holocaust Denial groups is selfish, shameful, and downright ignorant.
To be honest I am pretty sick of hearing about the Holocaust. There were more non-Jewish people "exterminated" during WWII, Yet you don't hear them whining all the time about it. What about genocides in Rwanda or Darfur? What about slavery? What about the Palestinians suffering?
No one cares about any other issue because of the Zionist agenda. Jews are shoving the Holocaust down everyone's throat, but if you mentioned the millions of Polish that were killed, or the people dying in Darfur right now, they won't even blink twice.
To all those who say you should be able to openly discuss and question "anything", I'm assuming you would be in full support if someone started a Facebook group named "Slavery and discrimination – the big myth".
Thank you Mr. Cuban for standing up for what is right and not accepting to be ignored and marginalized by the double standard that FB is trying to hide behind.
"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke
If all good men will do exactly what very bad men have done before, i.e. suppressing unpopular and offensive views, where will it lead? I was born and raised in the Soviet Union, and I am Jewish. Trust me and the experience of my former country – once you start penalizing people for their views, you will go down the slippery slope very fast.
That is a really good idea Christine. That would make an excellent group to start! I think I might go do that now. It would not offend me one bit either. You know why, because you can chose not to read it. OMG – what an idea right? NOT reading something by your own choice? OMG! What a revelation! Seriously, people have gone off the deep end here. One man had turned his disagreement for something into a crusade. He should be ashamed to call himself a Jew.
If people chose to deny that slavery happened…so what??????
The point being made here is not that these horrible thngs did not happen…..it's about the right of people to be able to discuss alternate, often offensive views and their right to be protected.
Actually Mr. Cuban has given them more Press and attention by continuing his campaign to shut them down.
If you people think a FB group using the words “slavery, discrimination and myth” together in the same sentence wouldn’t set off a firestorm, you have, to quote Kris, “gone off the deep-end”!
First of all, it would be shut down as soon as it was discovered. Secondly, the media would be all over it, trumpeting how racist this country still is and that slavery-deniers should be put in jail. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be having meetings with Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright, hiring ACORN to protest FB and AIG employees (since obama's departure, they aren't quite as organized so keeping track of who they hate this week, gets confusing) as they planned either the demise of FB altogether or else put NAACP employee in charge of editing content!
I read about this on CNN….and I applaud you for taking Facebook to task. I'm about as American WASPy as they come, and I think the thing that disturbs me the most about groups like "Holohoax" is not that they want to discuss the scholarly aspects of the true cost of the Holocaust, but the extreme denial of historical facts. This is not something from the Bible, from the 1800's or even the turn of the century. This is something that happened between 60 and 70 years ago. People are still alive that lived in these "camps". People are still alive that escaped these camps, and most disturbingly, there are soldiers still alive that gave their lives to liberate these camps and still suffer from what they saw. Existing accounts from people that were there, that saw the atrocities first hand can still be had from living, breathing people – and yet the history is questioned and denied. The complexes have been preserved in their respective countries, if anyone doubts the story, they should travel there and read the documentation first hand. Germany, as a nation, says approximately 11 million people were killed. Obviously at that figure, accuracy could be argued by give or take a million. But that "accuracy" seems to preoccupy people from the clear picture that millions of people were systematically and industrially killed by one nation based on faith, nationality, culture, sexual orientation, and even physical shortcomings.
To debate the exact total of lives lost is a folly, but certainly I would not begrudge someone the opportunity if that's what they choose to do with their lives. But to argue the historical fact that the Holocaust ever happened denies everyone the gift of hindsight and knowledge of human nature as well as breeds a form of lazy hatred and intolerance. Don't let Facebook or anyone marginalize this historic issue or conflate the issue at hand with some other aspect of Jewish culture or the Israeli conflict.
I applaud you for standing up to corporate double standards, and making a difference.
Nothing is going to convince me that the holocaust didnt happen.To forget it or downplay it,is to invite the holocaust to happen again.Thats what enemies of Israel want.They rely on the the stupid idiots of societies to convince others.Not going to happen.Palestinians?please.The PLO have killed more of their own than Israel ever did.Same goes for most arabs too.Dont like Zionists?Tough.I dont like nazis,or holocaust deniers either but it doesnt mean we should exterminate them does it?Most who are these types are complete morons who wont survive in a valid debate.Thats why they are on the net promoting garbage.Facebook would be wise to remove these groups,supporters of known terrorist groups,and any group that promotes willful hatred and genocide of others.Humanity isnt stupid and we will combat these groups.Ever notice that if you disagree your a Zionist?Or if you like Israel your a Zionist?Ever notice that if you dont agree with these crackpots, they demonize you?Well thats what evil does if you dont agree.
I'm proud to be a Zionist!
I agree with Christine. Does anyone think it would be ok to discuss whether or not slavery actually took place in this country ? I wonder if Mr. Schnitt, who wants Facebook to be a place where people can discuss all kinds of ideas, including controversial ones, would be ok with such a topic ? I certainly hope not.
Why? The topic of Jefferson supposedly having an affair is big news amongst the professional slavery fanatics (aka Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton) and is even taught in school. Despite the fact that it's been scientifically disproven. Those who are of Sally Hemmings' line have zero genetic relation to those of Jefferson's.
So why can't we discuss anything and everything in an open way? Why are somethings supposedly "off limits?" If people want to say that slavery didn't happen, that's their perogative. If people want to deny the holocaust, that's their right. If someone wants to say they were abducted by aliens, caught a 10 foot trout, ate sixty-eight hot dogs, or flew to the moon in a bucket–that's entirely their choice to do so.
What is served by stopping them other than allowing for the idea of censorship? For the record, all of the tyrants in history followed this same path. Restrict speech, clamp down on questioning, and create the idea of thought crimes. Then you own the people's minds.
Dear A Ben-David!
Since Facebook executives allow a discussion on whether the Holocaust actually happened or not, I do think it's only right to allow an OPEN discussion on the issue of "did slavery actually take place in the USA". It seems at Facebook they do have a hidden Agenda, had they done their "homework" properly they would realize that when the German Gov. offered to pay Restitution to survivors of Holocaust, that alone closes the possibility of any discussion. You cannot discuss FACTS! I would suggest Facebook executives take time to visit Auchwitz "Holiday Camp"….who knows, maybe they would love to stay…..
I'm a citizen of the United States of America, and I'm Jewish, and I am *acutely* aware that there are numbers of people around the world who would be very happy to KILL me (let alone discriminate against me) for either of those two attributes. I also spent my high school years in Germany, and saw some strong anti-Semitic (and anti- Turkish/Muslim/foreigner) sentiment there (as well as a great deal of very strong and positive *response* to those sentiments). The German government and people (and the occupation forces of the Allies) had some very strong reasons for making Nazi speech and symbols illegal, and I don’t second guess that choice at all.
But I believe the right response, in general, *today*, is NOT to attempt to legislate the hate and lies out of public discourse.
Pushing it into the dark corners of the net, where it can thrive far from the light of day (and reasoned responses) does NOT help. This only gives the hateful idiots a cachet, a “cool-dangerous -*rebellious*-persecuted” factor, to which they would not otherwise have access. I'd much rather have them out in the open where everyone can see that such people and views STILL exist and are STILL dangerous. And allows the rest of us to MOCK or SHUN them. And TRACK the extent of organized groups and their activities. Both of which are far more important (and effective) than keeping these positions out of view on Facebook (or anywhere else).
Something that is hidden is much harder to respond to, and surely we want those on the edge of such a movement to see the reasoned and evidence based response to the holocaust deniers. Surely we want the folks at the core of such a movement to be visible (and marginalized).
Just as I'd rather the Nazi/KKK/nutjobs get their legal (and marginalized) parades and their ridiculous (but obvious) gatherings on court house steps, than have them only meet in their private clubs and hidden chat rooms. If they are hidden, then too many otherwise well meaning people discount them as an actual threat. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Here are two real quotes (from naïve people I know): “Oh, there aren’t *really* Nazis in the USA, are there? I mean, come on, that’s just too crazy…” “Racism isn’t a problem anymore in the United States. I mean, we have a black president now, so how could anybody claim there was still institutional racism?” And this is with the nutjobs in plain sight.
Let them gather on Facebook. Let them apply for their permits to demonstrate in the public square. Let them publish their books and record their music.
And then let US keep track of them, respond to the lies and hate with the truth, backed with easy to verify historical documents and accounts from the survivors and witnesses. Let us monitor their publications for libel, for threats and incitement to violence, and use the tools that already exist to make sure they remain marginalized, ostracized and *observable*.
And to be clear, I too have a family tree with bare branches, and I would NEVER ignore the danger from groups who deny the holocaust or would like to somehow minimize it (as the Armenian genocide has often been positioned as a "civil insurrection").
I count the folks above, who are talking about the "Zionist agenda" (both pro and con) to be the kind of thing that needs *responding* to, not ignoring or name calling. "S.E." and "Aaron" and "Joshua" and several others are all missing what I believe to be the critical point, despite being on different sides of this issue: Allowing objectionable speech/writing allows us to OBJECT to it, to respond to it, and gives us a reasonable likelihood of maintaining our ability to defend our *own* speech/writing. In the long run, that is just as important as any attempt to eliminate the hate and lies of today.
I said nothing about denying yourself and others the ability to respond to the so-called hate speech of holocaust denial. That should have been implicit in my assertion that those who question the holocaust should be allowed to speak.
In fact, my entire discourse was questioning why it is that only speech that promotes the holocaust should be allowed and why it should be "wrong" or "illegal" to question those promotions.
Here is my point: why is it OK to talk about one thing, but somehow wrong to question that thing? Why is open discussion about ANYTHING wrong? Are some things supposed to be considered so sacred, so taboo, or so "important," that to question them is inherently evil or wrong?
I say no.
Let the deniers and questioners have their say. Let those who would refute their claims refute them. Let everyone who wishes to participate in the discussion do so. Bar only those who resort to hateful speech, direct attacks, and calls for violence be shunned and excluded. Let all HONEST discussion take place.
As far as I'm concerned, only those who are afraid of the truth are afraid of open discussion.
Well said Aaron.
Well, 10 million Christians were matter-of-factly persecuted to death in Russia by both Russians AND Germans but you don't hear us moaning about it OR using it as an excuse to undermine liberty, law, etc. Each man acts according to his own nature, life is not always fair or kind. This may explain why the sons of Zion are unwelcome in so many places throughout the world and may also explain why, as a people and a Lobby, they are so busy kvetching about their treatment throughout history. I am as eager to avoid them as they are to exploit me, but I digress….
All racism aside, the really here is that here is one man, or attorney, attempting to take away the collective right, or better yet, forcing facebook through the legal process to to remove the collective right of people to disagree in the guise of a noble cause. If that is not using good law for bad purposes then there is no such thing. Is nothing safe?
That the Holocaust happened is an incontrovertible fact. Many millions of PEOPLE were killed. That they happened to be jews, gypsies and christians is also a fact.
That mans inhumanity to man now extends from the same people who were so horribly slaughtered to the Palestinians who are being so horribly slaughtered is also without question.
The point I am trying to make is that while this horrible period in history happened – it was not just a jewish thing….it was a PEOPLE thing.
Voltaire once said: " I may diagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.", sums up my position on those who choose to deny this happened. They have a right and you Mr Cuban, should not try to oppress. For after all, you were once the oppressed and the feeling is not a good one.
Mr. Cuban, if you seriously want to win this debate then stop trying to supress it. Silence will fuel the fires. If it wasn't for such debates we never would have had MLK and blacks would still be riding the back of buses. Open debates are good and you'd be wise to use such platforms to your advantage to mold the minds of America's and the World's youth right now.
Let me get this straight…
You want to squelch people that you think are crazy?
It comes down to one simple thing.. Freedom of speech… You do not have to read what they write.. You do not have to believe it however you have no place telling people what to think… Iam a firm believer in the Holocaust but Iam also a firm believer in free speech and the ability to share ones own ideas even if they are not the norm or clearly an unacceptable idea.
Isn't it ironic that this guy who's pushing to limit and close down someone's free speech has a site logo involving an American flag?
Didn't the Nazis also limit free speech?
Does anyone care about the 60 million non-jews that were killed during World War II. It's comical how Brian wants no debate on the holocaust to happen but keeps totally quiet about the slow motion genocide that the Israeli Jews are committing against the Palestinians.
what about the 600 million jews who were killed thats alot more than 60 million i do care its just that hitler was a rusha and in english means a and dont forget it he was bad to everyone and he didnt even care. really it concludes that when peace comes to the world, ALL the jews will soar on the wings of an eagle and we will go to our land isreal and everyone will know who the real king is!!!!! AMEN!!!!
Why do you delete comments?
hey we can also debate on whether Slavery was mere fiction – and oh yes, did 9/11 really happen? or was it a just a scheme? what about oranges? are they really orange or is it just a form of dark yellow? how about we debate whether or not facebook employees are all KKK worshipers. what they claim they are not? wait – lets just debate it some.
holding "debates" on factual historical events is cancer in its evil most form. you can go ahead and give it some weight – but realise they by doing it, you are supporting holocaust denail.
hey we can also debate on whether Slavery was mere fiction – and oh yes, did 9/11 really happen? or was it a just a scheme? what about oranges? are they really orange or is it just a form of dark yellow? how about we debate whether or not facebook employees are all KKK worshipers. what they claim they are not? wait – lets just debate it some.
Hello Mr. Cuban,
You have stated that the hatred of Jews is "anti-semetic" and that Facebook is perpetuating hatred by allowing "anti-semetic" speech on their website. I hate to do this, I really do, but I must tell you that these idiots with revisionist history in mind and hatred in their hearts are NOT being anti-semetic. A semite is anyone born in the middle east. Semite language includes Hewbrew, Arabic, etc. To be an anti-semite, you must hate all people of the middle east. You cannot just hate Jews. I just wanted to get this straight because if we are to go around and preach non-revisionist history, we must be accurate in our statements. Correct education is the most important part of learning how not to hate. With correct education we can be righteous in our statements! I am proud to be a part of the Pro-Israel movement and I'm proud to be an American/Christian/Zionist!
are we denying or are we in denial? facebook is another avenue to discuss opionions.we need to learn to agree to disagree.
Aren't we forgetting that no one is forcing us to listen? Part of freedom of expression is the right to disagree and to ignore.
Has anyone actually been taken to court for ignoring a hate group's speech?
Pretty sick people you bunch of butchers are. Seventy-five percent of my family is dead because of Hitler. I really don't care if you give a shit or not. That's my reality. You guys that deny the holocaust are seriously bored, or have a bone to pick with Jews. Most of your problems are self-inflicted. You'll never be "normal" if you let this hostility rule. I agree with people that say let's not discuss it, and I certainly won't shove it down your throat. I wish it weren't discussed at all, except when it is needed to avoid repeating history. Ou middle eastern neighbors are my ancestors. Let's bury the hatchet and move on. By the way, I truly love my Palestinian brethren.
Brian, first don't you think you should disclose the fact that you are Jewish so that people can factor in your bias? We must ask why it is bad to question something. We must ask why no one is permitted to research whether the Holocaust occurred in Europe. We must ask why Holocaust deniers are imprisoned in much of Europe. That sounds to me like they are afraid of the truth.
Since the Jews control all of the media and Hollywood, all we have to go by are Jews as evidence of the Holocaust. I say show me the REAL evidence. Otherwise, as far as I am concerned, it did not exist. Once again, why are people prevented from investigating the validity of the Holocaust in Europe???????
Just because the media says something and repeats it over and over doesn't make it true. Just because Jews died during the war does not in itself qualify it as a "Holocaust." Millions of non-Jews died in the hands of Nazi Germany, many in prison camps. But dying due to starvation does not equate to a Holocaust. Until I see clear evidence of Jews being gases and burned, I cannot accept the Holocaust; nor should anyone else.
I decide to reply to this because of all the depressing comments over this subject, yours actually put a smile on my face and gave me a chuckle. I thank you for that. I am chuckling as I ask this question and even though I smiling, I ask this question is all seriousness:
Did you just get back from the bookstore with the book "Antisemitism For Dummies"? I only ask because you seem to have included every Jewish cliche and stereotype out there. I mean, really, the only things you left out were big noses and small dicks.
The only think I can think of is that you are either a fledgling "anti-Semite in training" or you are rehearsing a Stand up comedy routine to open up for a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad celebrity roast.
Either way you gave me a good laugh so thank you.
The next part I say in much more seriousness, and I hope you will take this to heart. I really mean what i say which is this:
Anyone who would read my blog and not be able to figure out that I am Jewish without a disclaimer gets the award for the stupidest person on the face earth.
Please let me know where I should send your prize. It is a talking, dancing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doll. Pull the string and he raps "I DenyThe Holocaust" to the soundtrack from the Sound Of Music. I hear its a big seller on Ebay.
I'm speechless. I couldn't have said it better and I'm not Jewish. You sir, are a true writer! Hazzah!
I have never heard such stupidity in all my life. You and Mel Gibson must be best friends. No, I'm not Jewish, but damn proud and will shout it loud that I AM A ZIONIST! You are doomed to a life of ignorance. Bummer.
America's Jewish-controlled media is the most destructive force today threatening this nation. A very small group (7) of Jews control about 95% of the U.S. media industry. We see a similar relationship in the UK and Europe. And even the most naive person knows that Jews control Hollywood. When you control the media and Hollywood, you will control the minds and perceptions of reality of the people.
We also know the Jews control the banking system, including the Federal Reserve. When you control the banks, you control people's lives. Together, when you control both industries, you will protect your banking friends from criminal prosecution after they have destroyed the global economy via real estate and banking fraud.
Brian, Americans DO need a revolution. A Revolution that fights the bankers, the control of the nation by the Federal Reserve and the manipulation of the people by the media.
If you pay one iota of attention to the world around you, you would know that it's not "politically correct" to deny, question or debate ANYTHING about race…you are branded a racist, period.
Have you not noticed that an effigy of Sarah Palin, hanging from a noose (Halloween 2008, a gay couple in California put it up on their house) is ART, while an effigy of obama hanging from a tree in Oregon (September 2008), was hate speech that can land one in jail.
There have always been Holocaust deniers, because there has always been stupidity and ignorance. As much as Frank or others like him, would like you to think, it’s not Jesus-freaks or NASCAR enthusiast who are the deniers…it is predominantly Muslims with the rogue bigot thrown in, for good measure.
Unfortunately, at this moment in time, the politically correct police (and FB creator, Mark Zuckerberg is a Jewish Liberal, so he’s got a DOUBLE DOSE of guilt) are out in full force to make sure no Muslim is offended in the course of a day in America. You know, I’m sick of seeing the prefacing of any statement about Muslim terrorist with “I know not all Muslims are terrorist, but…”
Well the cold hard facts are this; the terrorists killing our people are MUSLIMS, so stop with the coddling.
Mr. Cuban, this is why you will not get anywhere with the powers-that-be at FB. Politically Correct policies are what are at work here and sorry, but the Holocaust doesn’t qualify for “protection”. Good ‘ole PC, the reason behind so many problems…remember the attack at Ft. Hood and all the eggshells that remain intact because of the Military’s soft-stepping? The Christmas bomber? It’s PROFILING if you stop and check a person who fits the basic description of an enemy of the state…but you might hurt his feelings, so let him board without the intrusion…Grandma, take your shoes off!
I am sorry to go on and on but after reading your correspondence with FB and then the posts that followed, I thought I might chime in with some thoughts and opinions of what the real problem here is…POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Okay, to be honest, the “slavery” thing really grabbed me. The thought that somebody here in America, in 2010, actually thinks you could just choose to “NOT READ” something (or listen to, or join or watch, etc) rather then get offended, is naïve at best. The race-baiters lie in wait to pounce on something to herald to the world as “racist”, as to make more money and gain more power.
Kris, you must be white, under 20, uninformed and/or just a hater, but I applaud your sarcastic attempt at common-sense.
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