Ban Holocaust Deniers from Facebook?

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem

Image via Wikipedia

The Internet may be fertile for bloggers, but it’s also fertilizer for hate groups. Neo-Nazis and anti-Semites can  connect with fellow lunatics around the world in a global hatefest.

CNN now reports that a Dallas attorney – the brother of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban – is demanding that Facebook remove pages created by Holocaust deniers. Facebook says it’s sympathetic, and that it has already bans some hate pages, such as one belonging to a British KKK group (nice to know that American exports are doing well). Facebook says it will ban pages that threaten individuals or incite violence, but simply being offensive isn’t grounds for termination.

It really pains me, but I have to agree with Facebook. A belief is not grounds for censorship. The best defense against Holocaust denial is to let these fools talk, but always prove how wrong they are. Their arguments wilt in the face of logic and knowledge like mold withering before bleach.

The world hasn’t yet figured out how to deal with Holocaust deniers. Iran embraces them and becomes an international laughingstock. Germany bans them, which only makes the forbidden fruit more tempting. David Irving, the revisionist historian, was sentenced to three years in jail by an Austrian court. That only created a martyr. Do you know what really destroyed David Irving? When he sued another historian for calling him a Holocaust denier, and a British judge, in a meticulously reasoned opinion, ruled that Irving was a liar and a falsifier of history. Check out the trial transcripts. It’s fascinating to see how a denier falsifies history – and how real historians disassemble his arguments piece by piece.

Some  say that we need censorship to stop the hate from spreading. But hateful people are already afflicted. They’re not convinced by the Holocaust deniers. They were already convinced before they ever met them. If the only way to stop hate groups is by banning their speech, then our society is far worse trouble than we thought.

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9 Responses to Ban Holocaust Deniers from Facebook?

  1. Brian In NYC says:

    Spot on Michael, if you want to stop haters, stop their parents from having kids.

  2. bloggulator says:

    Preventing Holocaust deniers from saying their piece only gives publicity to their perverted fantasies, giving them a sense of “martyrdom”. In the same way as allowing them space online, the act of banning them could also provide fodder to their “cause”, by attracting people who would be comfortable with those beliefs. Furthermore, it is an authoritarian, anti-freedom-of-speech stance, which is exactly the philosophy that the perpetrators of the Holocaust wished to impose on the people, had they prevailed in WWII. With freedom of speech and expression comes some unsavory baggage; a mature society should be able to handle such, rather than sweeping it under the rug to fester.

    Regarding the death toll of the Holocaust, the most visible organizations of Holocaust Remembrance, together with the mainstream media perpetually refer to that “6 million” death toll; as a result, most people have that figure firmly implanted in their awareness as the true history. The 6 million actually refers only to the Jewish victims, who suffered the largest loss as a group. The total death roll varies between at least 11 million and possibly as high as 25 million, depending on the survey, and includes at least 5 million people, and perhaps many more, of non-Jewish faith and ethnicity, including Blacks, Romanies, Gays, Poles of all religions, Slavs, Disabled people, and others; in other words, those who did not conform to the Nazi regime’s hellish vision of society.

    It is very sad that there appears to be a drive to exclude these forgotten victims from history’s pages. Surely the non-Jewish victims are not considered “lesser” human beings by the writers of history, thus less deserving of their place of remembrance in the worst human tragedy of the 20th century, perhaps of all time? Their exclusion, in sad irony, is yet another form of Holocaust denial, but one that I am sure most people would prefer to ignore.

    • Michael Peck says:

      Whoa. You almost sound like a Holocaust denier yourself, Bloggulator. First, Jews occupy the central place in the Holocaust narrative because they were its central target. Gypsies were also targeted for extermination, and Poles and Slavs were starved and murdered. But it was the Jews whom the Nazis were determined to wipe out. Anti-Semitism was a pillar of Nazi ideology.

      You also say there is a “drive” to exclude non-Jews from the Holocaust. Let me guess. It’s the Jews who are behind this plot, right?

      • bloggulator says:

        Unfortunately, Michael, you sound more like the Holocaust denier, in that you appear to support the exclusion of the forgotten victims, probably on account of “political correctness” as well as the maintenance of your own comfort zone. You also, unfortunately, revert to that old worn-out kneejerk “conspiracy theory” accusatory drivel, which belongs more on the junior high-school playground, than in a rational mature discussion. Perhaps I broke a taboo here, in that I find it more appropriate to place all people, regardless of faith, ethnicity and sexual orientation, as equal and valid members of the human race, as opposed to furthering favoritism and duplicity. Shame on you.

      • Michael Peck says:

        I didn’t say you were a Holocaust denier. I said that whether you realize it or not, you’re invoking the sort of themes that deniers do. Who exactly is guilty of “favoritism and duplicity” in Holocaust remembrance? Duplicity is a deliberate intent to deceive. Since you believe that the Jews are unfairly favored in Holocaust history, then presumably you believe it’s the Jews who are the deceivers. Which happens to be the message of Holocaust deniers, who claim the Jews have falsified history.

  3. thorgolucky says:

    I agree, no! Banning just gives the conspiracy nuts the fuel they need to validate the conspiracy in their demented way.

  4. mixgasdivr says:

    Michael

    great piece, and you are right. I think it is ridiculous to deny the Holocaust, but it is their right to do so.

    Even people who we disagree with must be allowed to practice free speech.

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