How can a Facebook page devoted to ‘Jewish ritual murder’ not be an overt and obvious violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service?
By Jeff Abramowitz
Facebook has a page (at least one) dedicated to the subject of Jewish ritual murder also known as “Blood libel.” Facebook also has much vaunted community standards which do “not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.”
This begs the question… how is a page devoted to the subject of Jewish ritual murder NOT a violation of Facebook’s community standards?
This is a simple question, or as Basil Fawlty would put it, “not a proposition for Wittgenstein.”
Unless you’re one of the people who adjudicate possible violations of Facebook’s community standards.
Because complaints against this page — and there have been some, this writer’s included — were met with the reply that the page does not violate the standards.
Well, maybe not if you’re an anti-Semite or an idiot (there is – sometimes – a difference) or a Facebook standards adjudicator. But for people with an IQ of over 50, by any objective standard not motivated by anti-Jewish animus, a page on Jewish ritual murder is pure anti-Semitism, offensive and offending. When that page is on Facebook, it violates Facebook’s own community standards.
For those who don’t know, the Jewish ritual murder charge, also known as the blood libel, centers around the preposterous claim that Jews murder Christians to use their blood for ritual purposes, such as baking matzo for Passover ( calling it a libel is like describing World War II as “unpleasant”– it doesn’t quite convey the point – for a start, as anyone with even a passing acquaintance of Judaism knows, it is forbidden for Jews to eat blood.)
The site includes links to a book on the subject, and a newspaper headline that “Judea declares war on Germany” with the helpful explanation that Jews first declared war on Germany in 1933.
It has only 347 likes, but that does not mean only 347 people have read it. And anyway, for this sort of filth, 347 likes is 347 too many. Nor does the low number of Facebook likes mean the page is insignificant — a simple Google search for “Jewish ritual murder” finds this page at the top of the search results.
To the educated, this libel might be laughable. But there are a lot of uneducated people out there, who would believe it. Who have believed it — this very same accusation has in the past sparked pogroms and anti-Jewish riots, and not just in the medieval period, when the libel first surfaced, and not just in so-called less-enlightened countries — the libel even made an appearance in the US, in Massena, New York in 1928.
No doubt the usual suspects will trot out the usual arguments about freedom of speech. But does freedom of speech include and allow libel?
And no doubt the “Blame Israel — it’s easier than thinking” crowd (you know the types: hard-core lefties, has-been rock stars seeking one more headline, “luvvies” of the British theater, the left-wing media led by the Guardian, British members of parliament who have many Jewish friends but happen to represent constituencies with a large Muslim population) will say that the page is not anti-Semitic, but anti-Israel, or is anti-Semitic, but a result of Israel’s actions — the sort of arguments which get regurgitated with depressing regularity. See some of the reactions to Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic meltdown, for examples of how this plays out. Odd, isn’t it, how people who are quick to claim — in some cases correctly — that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, are equally quick to claim — incorrectly — that anti-Semitism is really criticism of Israel.
So let’s see here.
You don’t like Israel? Fair enough. Israel has done, does, and no doubt will in the future do, some pretty unlikable things – that’s the way countries behave. But to express your dislike of Israel, you accuse Jews — not Israelis, but Jews — of ritually murdering Christians.
God knows, there are enough hate pages on Facebook, enough sites which people will find offensive – two that I came across involve the Ku Klux klan, and one on Black people and watermelons — and Facebook cannot police them all. That’s why surfers have the ability, the right, even the obligation, to complain.
Of course, the whole complaints procedure would perhaps work a lot better if the replies didn’t seem to be computer generated – together with the notice saying the complaint would not be upheld, this writer also got a computer-generated questionnaire asking to rate whole complaints experience – a clear case of “Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?”
It would make the complaints experience seem a bit more worthwhile if Facebook worried more about the actual content, and less about the procedure.
The Internet, Walter Cronkite once said, “is a frightful danger to all of us.” Well, maybe not the web, maybe not anymore. But Facebook could well become one, unless and until it starts living up to its own published community standards.
Jeff Abramowitz is a news editor at i24news.
View original i24news publication at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/21826-140221-so-what-do-you-have-to-do-to-get-your-page-removed-from-facebook