Looks like pressure finally got to Facebook and they did what I am sure the vast majority of people will agree, was the right thing. Freedom of speech in this country is beyond vital. The ability to say what we feel, when we feel it without censorship or controlling is one of the things that makes America what it is, and when issues arise that test that, you’re always going to have controversy. Hopefully Facebooks decision today will put an end to at least some of the controversy as they seem to have their bases covered in why they removed them.
In case you’re a bit out of the loop, Facebook has been receiving pressure from outside sources after some Facebook Group Pages were created that spoke out against the Holocaust and denied it ever occured. There were two groups in question at the heart of this controversy, “Holocaust is a Holohoax” and “Based on the facts…there was no Holocaust,” and both were removed from Facebook today as it was determined that they were violating Facebook’s Terms of Service allowing messages that spread hate on their Walls.
The issue here is, there are still many groups like this that still exist on Facebook. According to reports:
“Despite Facebook’s decision to eliminate two Holocaust Denial groups, numerous others remain on Facebook. These groups have names like “Holocaust: A Series of Lies,” “Holocaust is a Myth,” “the holocaust that the Jewish believe in is very big lie,” “Holocaust denial & Anti-Zionism,” three different groups named “F–K Israel And Their Holocaust Bulls–t,” and “1,000,000 for the TRUTH about the Holocaust.””
Why the other groups remain might be questionable to many, but Facebook has said they have to uphold that freedom of speech and these groups, while maybe not extremely popular to many, are merely “engaging in legitimate discourse about a controversial topic.” Until those groups “cross the line” into hatred, they will do nothing.
All of this is controversial, that much is clear, but it does raise some important questions: How far should Freedom of Speech go with online social networking? What should be allowed and what should not? Isn’t the simple fact that groups exist denying one of the most devestating and tragic events in human history enough to be called hateful? These are big questions, important questions, and they all need answers. What do you think?