Tuesday, May 12, 2009
You can't breastfeed on Facebook, but you can deny the Holocaust.
Tech bloggers led by Brian Cuban, brother of billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, are leading the fight to get the social-networking site to remove groups that deny the Nazi genocide.
"You may or may not know that Holocaust Denial is a crime in many European countries including countries where Facebook seeks to establish a presence such as Germany," Cuban wrote to Facebook last week, giving links to five Holocaust-denial pages on the site.
In an interview with CNN later in the week, Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt defended the groups' presence on the site.
"We have a lot of internal debate and we bring in experts to talk about it," he said. "Just being offensive or objectionable doesn't get it taken off Facebook. We want [Facebook] to be a place where people can discuss all kinds of ideas, including controversial ones."
TechCruch founder Michael Arrington picked up where Cuban left off in a scathing post Sunday entitled "Jew Haters Welcome At Facebook, As Long As They Aren't Lactating" (warning: disturbing images and offensive language).
He pointed out that Facebook removes images of breastfeeding mothers, and posted screenshots of anti-Semitic comments on the Holocaust-denial-group pages.
On Monday, Facebook removed two of the five groups Cuban mentioned.
"The group description didn't promote hate but the members were beginning to use it as a forum to promote hate through their wall posts," Schnitt told PC Magazine via e-mail.
But as of Tuesday morning, three were still up: "Holocaust: A series of Lies," "Holohoax" and "Holocaust is a Myth."