Any censorship or anti-Semitism: Zuckerberg faced a fatal choice

© AFP 2018 / Josh EdelsonРуководитель company Facebook Inc. Mark ZuckerbergAny censorship or anti-Semitism: Zuckerberg faced a fatal choice© 2018 AFP / Josh Edelson

The head of Facebook mark Zuckerberg made a statement that caused a scandal on both sides of the Atlantic. In the social network with more than two billion users will no longer block posts with Holocaust denial. About how the choice between censorship and risk to offend Jews led the Corporation to unsolvable problems in the material RIA Novosti.

«Facebook will punish you»

Zuckerberg himself, of course, condemns those who deny the Holocaust, calling them «naive» and «misguided». «I’m not going to defend the intent of the people to deny it», — he stressed in an interview with Recode podcast. However, the policy of the company, he said, is that such messages will not be deleted.

On the day following the publication of the controversial interview Zuckerberg began to make excuses and to talk about the fight with the notorious fake news. «Our goal is not that someone stop telling lies and to stop the spread of false information through our platform,» he says. However, all was limited only to words.

Started: one of the first authoritative Zuckerberg has condemned the Simon Wiesenthal Center, since 1977, struggling with various manifestations of anti-Semitism. There’s the billionaire recalled that the Directors of the company in 2009, has assured the centre that take responsibility for the fight against Holocaust denial on the social network.

«The Nazis perpetrated the Holocaust — the most documented atrocity in history, so social media can’t justify such things as «freedom of expression», — said the representative of the centre, Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

In the European Jewish community recalled that, in contrast to the USA, Austria or Switzerland for denying the Holocaust can end up in jail.

«The essence of European legislation in relation to the Holocaust in the fact that the European politicians understand: the denial of the Shoah (Jewish Holocaust names. — Approx. ed.) is directly related to the possibility of its recurrence. For the vast majority of Jews of European approach is the only acceptable,» — told RIA Novosti the head of the Council of European rabbis Pinchas Goldschmidt.

But most of all to the founder of Facebook took up arms against the German authorities. Bundesminister of justice Katherine Barclay reminded Him that such a policy is contrary to German law, therefore, likely huge fines. Besides, Germany has several months of checks the company in connection with possible leak of personal data of users.

«Anti-Semitism has no place (in Germany). This applies to verbal and physical attacks on Jews and Holocaust denial. The latter also requires the punishment will be strictly prosecuted by law», — said the Minister in an interview with Politico.

«Last year, when the defenders of the rights of colored and white published the same (mutual insults. — Approx. ed.), the moderators of the Facebook censor only «colored people». Moreover, when black women posted screenshots of the insults, their account suspended or removed these posts,» said the defender.

Less than a week, the scandal has grown to pan-European and national level. Now politicians, public figures, scientists, the media and ordinary users of the social network arguing which is more important: freedom of speech or protection from hate speech. If the first, then how to deal with fake news? And if the latter, then where are the limits of censorship? Especially considering that this word is in Europe and the USA irritation.

The dispute erupted amid a worrying trend. First, fewer Americans and Europeans know anything about the Holocaust. In the US, according to a recent survey, nearly half of the citizens (45%) could not name any of the forty thousand Nazi concentration camps and ghettos.

Second, gradually deteriorating attitude towards the Jews, and it is in those countries where the punishment for the most severe anti-Semitism. According to a study by the authoritative sociological center Pew, one-fifth of Austrians (21%), Germans (19%), Swiss (17%) and almost a quarter of Brits (23%) did not want the Jews to become members of their families.

According to the world Jewish Congress, only in the first two days of 2018 on major platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) every hour were published by 23 anti-Semitic messages. In General, over the last two years, the volume of anti-Semitic content increased, with 11% of these messages related to Holocaust denial.

«Zuckerberg says about those who deny the Holocaust, as «naive» and «misguided». This is what is called «the view from Capitol hill» in America where in most States the Holocaust is included in the school curriculum, so «naive mistake» can only be marginal either uneducated or seeking in history some pitfalls. Those who deny the Holocaust — is not misguided. They are deeply convinced that this is a myth, created specifically for political or ideological purposes,» — said the co-Chairman of the center «Holocaust» historian Ilya Altman.

According to the expert, the web is more common not a complete denial of the mass extermination of the Jews, and the understatement of its magnitude.

«It is important to understand that the Holocaust was not an invention of modern politicians and scientists. It was Nazi racial policy, the idea of total extermination of a whole nation. With the Jews the Nazis wanted to experiment on the eyes of the world are unprecedented in recent history attempt. And the denial of this is a justification of Nazism,» he explains.

Alas, this idea «is not always well served», including historians. And in General, sums up Altman, not very clear how to deal with Holocaust denial on the Internet. It fails even such giant as Facebook. Or he just doesn’t want to.

© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Aminopherase in Photobacterium lighting candles to mark the International day of remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. Archival photo Any censorship or anti-Semitism: Zuckerberg faced a fatal choice© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Aminopherase in Photobacterium lighting candles to mark the International day of remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. Archive photo