Showing Nipples is worse than denying the Holocaust
Facebook finds itself under attack today with another aggressive post from Arrington. The reason ? They will not ban Holocaust Denial groups (Facebook Remains Stubbornly Proud Of Position On Holocaust Denial). Explosive stuff.
The argument against banning is that Facebook cannot get involved in what its users are saying, as a guarantor of free speech. The argument in favour is that clearly all Denialists I have ever listened to believe that humanity should finish what the Nazis started — and there is the rub. I would not want to rank people’s suffering into categories, but Shoah stands on its own.
What’s interesting about this is the following: once again the law finds itself behind the reality of tech.
- Why Nipples are worse then 6M dead: Nipples are banned on Facebook (and that would include nursing mothers) because the now-defunct COPA made it an offence to give kids access to “porn” (including nipples). Hence if you did not want your site to disappear behing an 18-or-over certification, there was no choice but to remove nipples.
- Why Facebook cannot ban: At the same time , sites like Facebook rely on their status as a hosting platform and safe harbours provisions of the DMCA to keep operating. If they start meddling with content, they might be considered publishers and hence be held responsible for EVERYTHING that happens on the site. The US being legally non prescriptive, it has no law against Holocaust Denial. The recent difficulties encountered with PirateBay highlight the debate.
You can see why Facebook Corp. are wriggling in this unfortunate position. Do the right thing and ban the groups, and shut your business down ? Now what a statement that would be !
I will leave the conclusion to some who has more authority to comment on this than I. As ouriel tweeted to me this AM: @fdestin holocaust denial is less a crime than showing breast feeding pictures? well something is fucked up with the law
“<— Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee”, for all of us