Update 19th January 2016: YouTube has removed MY video about other people’s hate speech. I’m substituting the Facebook version.
Here’s what’s going on. A number of years ago people reported a page on Facebook called “Jewish Ritual Murder”. It was also know as “The Truth About Jews”. It consistently ran the classical old blood libel that Jews, ordered by their Torah, kill non-Jews (especially children) and use their blood for various invented rituals.
Well this Facebook community did appear to go away. Certainly if you’re in Australia or in Israel, you can’t see their page. But if you’re in most of the Arab world you can. So how is this deception by Facebook helping anyone, when the people most likely to be incited to go out and stab a Jew can still see the lies, while those most likely to report it can’t see it? I don’t know.
Yesterday’s big video from Shurat Ha’Din has caused a stir for sure. My problem with all this is that policing hate speech vs incitement vs allowed criticism of religion is a very fraught area. All we’re learning from this, I believe, is that it can’t be done online and that the standards companies like Facebook have set for themselves can’t be met equitably. Unfortunately we’re getting into a trap where the speech deemed offensive by those who chop heads off, is censored whereas lies about Jews stay up because Jews don’t go on killing sprees about lies.
A quick note: blocking content by IP address to exclude it from certain geographies is not a perfect science. It is possible that some connections in Israel will see the community and Israellycool’s Aussie Dave can see this community from his internet connection without using the proxy service I used. Feel free to tell me in the comments if you can see this page or not.
Update 11th January 2016: Andre Oboler, CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute, adds this in the comments:
Anything which is not removed entirely by Facebook will always be visible in the US.
The reason is that Facebook only country blocks content (rather than removing it) in response to complaints that the content breaches national laws – it then country blocks in those countries where the content would be unlawful. This system was originally created in 2009 after concerns were raised about Facebook sharing Holocaust denial content in countries where doing so is a criminal offence.
The reason the content will always be visible in the US (unless Facebook feel it should be removed entirely) is because if Facebook was ordered to take down content in the US they would need to delete it from their servers entirely in order to comply. The only place where we can see this happening is a direct credible threat of violence or the promotion of terrorism, this is because anything else which may be regarded as hate speech will also in the US be considered protected speech under the 1st amendment, which means any law saying it has to come down will be struck down by the courts.
It’s also worth noting, as others have pointed out in the comments too, that the administrators of any page can deliberately exclude certain geographies from seeing their page. It is often suggested by the administrators of Jew hating pages to exclude Israel precisely because Israel has a high concentration of Jews.
Removed YouTube Video below: