France, Germany, Israel, Austria - Are Not Free Speech Zones

grarpamp grarpamp at
Thu May 25 15:55:45 PDT 2017

Facebook's policies on Holocaust denial will come under fresh scrutiny
following the leak of documents that show moderators are being told
not to remove this content in most of the countries where it is
illegal. The files explain that moderators should take down Holocaust
denial material in only four of the 14 countries where it is outlawed.
One document says the company "does not welcome local law that stands
as an obstacle to an open and connected world" and will only consider
blocking or hiding Holocaust denial messages and photographs if "we
face the risk of getting blocked in a country or a legal risk." A
picture of a concentration camp with the caption "Never again Believe
the Lies" was permissible if posted anywhere other than the four
countries in which Facebook fears legal action, one document explains.
Facebook contested the figures but declined to elaborate. Documents
show Facebook has told moderators to remove dehumanizing speech or any
"calls for violence" against refugees. Content "that says migrants
should face a firing squad or compares them to animals, criminals or
filth" also violate its guidelines. But it adds: "As a quasi-protected
category, they will not have the full protections of our hate speech
policy because we want to allow people to have broad discussions on
migrants and immigration which is a hot topic in upcoming elections."
The definitions are set out in training manuals provided by Facebook
to the teams of moderators who review material that has been flagged
by users of the social media service. The documents explain the rules
and guidelines the company applies to hate speech and "locally illegal
content," with particular reference to Holocaust denial. One 16-page
training manual explains Facebook will only hide or remove Holocaust
denial content in four countries -- France, Germany, Israel and
Austria. The document says this is not on grounds of taste, but
because the company fears it might get sued.

Free speech, free thought, free analysis, free association... look elsewhere.

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