Facebook Controversy Puts Spotlight on Holocaust Denial

May 08, 2009 07:00 AM
by Kate Davey
Facebook is allowing Holocaust denial groups to create group pages on Facebook, which has outraged many.

Brian Cuban Takes On Facebook

Brian Cuban, brother of and lawyer to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, has questioned Facebook’s decision to allow Holocaust denial groups to remain on the social media site. 

On his blog, The Cuban Revolution, Cuban lays out the argument he put to Facebook in an e-mail explaining that Facebook’s own Terms of Service (TOS) requires that material not be uploaded or used on Facebook that would break the laws of the country in which Facebook is being used. In the U.S., it is legal to debate the existence of the Holocaust; however, Holocaust denial is against the law in several countries, including Germany, Austria, France and Israel.

In a Q&A with Chris Matyszczyk of CNET, Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt explained Facebook’s position on this issue: “[W]e find Holocaust denial repulsive and ignorant. However … we want Facebook to be a place where ideas, even controversial ideas, can be discussed.”

Opinion & Analysis: Holocaust deniers vs. President Obama

Despite the overwhelming evidence that the Holocaust did occur, each year new books are published and Web sites are created debating whether or not the Holocaust actually happened. 

Michael Dalton, author of “Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides,” argues the “traditional view” of the Holocaust is promulgated “by people with a self-interest in sustaining the dominant view of a genocidal Nazi regime and an innocent and victimized Jewish people.” He believes that thousands of Jews died in the Holocaust, but that the number of deaths were exaggerated into the millions.

During a Holocaust Remembrance Day event, President Obama spoke of the importance of stopping such Holocaust revisionists or deniers. “How do we ensure that ‘never again’ isn't an empty slogan or merely an aspiration, but also a call to action? … [B]y bearing witness, by fighting the silence that is evil's greatest co-conspirator."

Related Topics: Holocaust deniers and Nazi newspapers

In early February 2009, Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson was fired from a Roman Catholic seminary in Argentina after stating that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died in total during the Holocaust.

In March 2009, a Munich Court gave permission to a weekly publication has been to reprint Nazi newspapers through 1938. The publisher of the newspaper stated that its purpose was to offer historical insight into events of World War II and Nazi-era Germany.

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