Every time I think it can’t get worse on Facebook, Mark Zuckeberg proves me wrong. To start with the obvious, there are, for Jews and ideally for the world, two words in the English language that carry special and tragic meaning. The word, holocaust, with a lowercase “h” refers to a massive, disastrous, even barbaric case of genocide. While there have been many holocausts in the history of man, there has been only one Holocaust. Ultimately, it is likely there will be more, given man’s nature towards violence. There has been only one Holocaust, with an uppercase “H”.
The Holocaust is defined as the systematic murder of over six million Jews. Obviously, a holocaust can be an accident of nature or a man-made massacre. But the Holocaust wasn’t an accident, not of nature and not of man. Sadly, what is systematic about the Holocaust today, are the efforts to deny it even happened. As there are fewer and fewer survivors alive and well enough to testify, this campaign of Holocaust denial gains momentum. And sadly, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame, has joined the ranks in supporting Holocaust denial.
At least 20 nations have laws punishing Holocaust denial. For example, countries in Europe, Israel and Australia. Sadly, the United States has not passed an legislation against denying the Holocaust. Thus, even anti-Semitic hate speech is allowed unless accompanied by a threat or violence (and then, it is the threat or the violence that is actually illegal and not the verbiage).
In an interview with recode, Zuckerberg stated, “I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”
It’s hard to understand whether Mark Zuckerberg is intentionally misstating reality or if he is simply naive and in denial. To be fair, in a post-interview correction, Zuckerberg clarified his initial statement to recode,”I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”
Zuckerberg then began to explain why he did not feel that Facebook should stop Holocaust denial on his platform. Facebook has its policies, which can be summed up (Zuckerberg speaking), as “Okay, you have your page, and if you’re not trying to organize harm against someone, or attacking someone, then you can put up that content on your page, even if people might disagree with it or find it offensive.”
So, from what I can tell, Holocaust deniers can deny the Holocaust and Israel haters can deny Israel as a state, but God help those who denounce Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, or Islamic terror even when the “perpetrator” screams Allahu Akbar loudly as he stabs, rams, or explodes himself.
In recent days, Germany has joined the argument against Zuckerberg’s policy. Germany.