May 20, 2019

Lawfare Project Gets Facebook to Remove Anti-Semitic Content Following Zuckerberg Comments

The Lawfare Project was able to leverage Facebook into removing anti-Semitic content from their platform through legal action following Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent comments on Holocaust deniers.

According to a press release, The Lawfare Project issued several take-down notices of anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying Facebook posts over the past couple of days, and Facebook took those posts down. One example that was shared with the Journal was a post in Spanish that roughly translates to:

“I do not know more than three kinds of Jews and none is good. Orthodox or believers who are crazy fanatics who are governed by their invented law of God with which there are words for more that say they are against the illegitimate state of Israel are psychopaths. The Jewish assassins who are ruled by Zionism and the holocity. And the secular Jews or atheists who in their great majority are governed by Zionism or the Holocaust; among which a small minority will undoubtedly be good people, but these are so scarce that it is as if they would not even exist; and as when one speaks, one speaks in general, because the more I know about the Jews, the more they disgust me; and I am not anti-Semitic, but a bit anti-Jewish enough that it is always good to take off the guilt saying that not all Jews are bad; it will not be all, but if the great majority.”

On July 18, Zuckerberg told ReCode that Facebook wouldn’t take down Holocaust-denying content but would bury it on people’s feeds through its algorithm.

“I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

Lawfare Project Spanish Counsel Ignacio Wenley Palacios said in the press release, “Whenever we find blatant Holocaust denial that Facebook refuses to remove, we will file legal proceedings to ensure that Facebook does not follow Mr. Zuckerberg’s stated approach.”

Lawfare Project Executive Director Brooke Goldstein stated that Zuckerberg’s comments “contradicts the findings of historians, sociologists and mainstream political figures, who categorize Holocaust denial as a form of anti-Semitism.”

“Facebook bans hate speech that attacks groups based on ethnicity or religious affiliation, so statements should be removed if they attack the Jewish people, an ethno-religious group,” Goldstein said. “In countries such as Spain, where Holocaust denial violates civil and criminal law, we will continue taking action to get it removed.”

On July 25, it was reported by CNBC that Facebook’s shares declined by 20% and they fell below this quarter’s revenue projection.