Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Friday, January 15, 2010

An Analysis of Holocaust Denial as Hate Speech

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, University of Hull, has published "Holocaust Denial is a Form of Hate Speech," in the Amsterdam Law Forum, 2009. Here is the abstract.
Recently Facebook confirmed that it has disabled a group called "I Hate Muslims in Oz." Barry Schnitt explained: "We disabled the ‘I Hate Muslims in Oz’ group… because it contained an explicit statement of hate. Where Holocaust-denial groups have done this and been reported, we’ve taken the same action".

Facebook distinguishes between "explicit statement of hate" and Holocaust denial. Its directors believe that Holocaust denial is not hateful per se and does not therefore contravene the company’s terms of service. The terms of service say: "You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence". Schnitt said: "We're always discussing and evaluating our policies on reported content, but have no plans to change this policy at this time. In addition to discussing it internally, we continue to engage with third-party experts on the issue".

In this short piece I wish to take issue with the assertion that Holocaust denial is not hateful per se. My aim is to show that it is, and therefore that Facebook should reconsider its position. All Internet providers and web-hosting companies whose terms of service disallow hateful messages on their servers should not host or provide forums for such hate-mongering. This is of urgent need as Holocaust denial is prevalent in Europe, the United States, and across the Arab and Muslim parts of the world. Iran's regime, under the disputed leadership of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made questioning the Holocaust one of the centerpieces of its radical ideology, brazenly proclaiming falsehoods about one of the most thoroughly documented periods in history. In December 2006, he convened an "International Conference Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision" designed to address the "need" to establish whether the Holocaust actually happened. Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial is accompanied by outrageous statements, such as Israel should be "wiped out from the map", and by controversial nuclear policy. Hateful words are part of a calculated strategy to denounce Israel and bring about a "World without Zionism".
e "need" to establish whether the Holocaust actually happened. Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial is accompanied by outrageous statements, such as Israel should be "wiped out from the map", and by controversial nuclear policy. Hateful words are part of a calculated strategy to denounce Israel and bring about a "World without Zionism".
 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law_prof_blog/2010/01/an-analysis-of-holocaust-denial-as-hate-speech.html

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef012876da2609970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference An Analysis of Holocaust Denial as Hate Speech: