“Holocaust denial, incitement of hatred, as well as racist and anti-Semitic speech are all illegal under German law.”
Holocaust denial is a fairly straightforward concept, as is anti-Semitic speech, but “incitement of hatred” and “racist” speech are much less clearly definable concepts. Who gets to decide what is “incitement of hatred” and “racism”? Why, the nameless Facebook censors profiled in this article, all of whom no doubt have a far-Left point of view.
For years, Islamic and Leftist groups have insisted that any analysis of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to incite violence and hatred was itself “incitement of hatred.” Now the other shoe has dropped: Facebook and other hard-Left social media outlets are blocking what they consider to be “incitement of hatred,” with no notice, no appeal, and no recourse.
Consequently, referrals from Facebook to Jihad Watch dropped by 90% in mid-February, and never recovered. Reporting on jihad activity is not in any genuine sense “incitement of hatred,” but the Left says it is, and so that is the end of the matter.
Meanwhile, Facebook has repeatedly assured the Pakistani government that it will enforce Sharia blasphemy laws:
- Pakistan: Facebook helping Pakistani officials remove “blasphemous” content March 8, 2017
- Pakistani government: Facebook heeded its demand and has removed 85% of “blasphemous” material March 27, 2017
- Facebook VP travels to Pakistan to assure government it will remove “anti-Islam” material July 11, 2017
Many people will no doubt respond to this article that it doesn’t matter: they avoid Facebook, and everyone else should as well. That’s fine, but Facebook still has a massive international clientele, giving it extraordinary power over the means of communication. And it is, under the guise of policing “hate speech,” steadily choking out all voices that don’t toe the far-Left line.
This is extremely important, as the freedom of speech is indispensable to the freedom of society in general. But since the Left controls so much of the means of communication, it has gotten scant notice. Most people do not realize how far advanced the war against the freedom of speech really is. I lay it all out in my new book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies).
“‘No more faith in humanity’: A day in the life of Berlin Facebook moderators,” The Local, July 11, 2017 (thanks to M.):
For the first time, Facebook opened up its Berlin centre for deleting hateful or violent content, providing journalists with a glimpse into the workers’ everyday dealings with decapitation videos, racist propaganda and child pornography.
“I still remember the first beheading video – I turned it off, went outside and wept a little bit,” said one female employee.
But she said that this was her only breakdown, because the first time she was unprepared.
“Now we’re so used to it, that it’s not so horrible anymore,” the 28-year-old explained.
This was the first time that journalists were allowed to speak with three workers at Facebook’s deletion centre, though they were not allowed to give their names so as to protect their identities.
In total, 650 people work in this multifaceted operation to examine and delete posts which could be considered illegal, or against Facebook’s own rules.
They alert Facebook when they believe that someone could harm themselves or others. These workers have already been able to prevent suicides through subsequent contact with police, they say.
One of their least stressful tasks is also to verify the authenticity of accounts.
Facebook is now facing increased pressure from the German government to crack down on hate speech, after the Bundestag (German parliament) recently passed a law to fine social media companies up to €50 million for not swiftly removing illegal content.
The legislation – one of the toughest in the world – came amid a rise in racist content posted online, often in response to the refugee crisis, which has brought in around one million asylum seekers since 2015.
Holocaust denial, incitement of hatred, as well as racist and anti-Semitic speech are all illegal under German law.
But opponents of the so-called “hate speech law” have cautioned that the fines could stifle free speech, with social networks opting to delete rather than thoroughly vet content out of fear of being punished. Facebook itself condemned the law before its passage for allowing the state to “pass on its own failures and responsibilities to private companies”….
“We feel good about what we do. When I can save someone from seeing something through my work, then I find that really good,” she said, adding that if she had kids, she also would not want them to stumble upon certain content….