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June 9, 2016

LA Times Editorial Board Criticizes EU Hate Speech Code of Conduct for Online Platforms

In response to a Code of Conduct adopted at the request of the European Commission by online companies Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board called the Code “a well-meaning but heavy-handed move against jihadist propaganda.”  The Editorial explained:

The code of conduct was presented as a set of voluntary commitments closely tracking what the four companies say they’ve been doing on their own initiatives. But it’s not as if they could have blithely refused to cooperate. Under European law, certain types of hate speech are illegal and must be removed on request. The commission also is a highly active regulator  — much more so than U.S. authorities are — having launched antitrust, tax and privacy enforcement actions against some or all of the four companies. In other words, they would have ignored the commission at their peril.

The LA Times Editorial Board itemized its concerns this way:

  • “The Commission’s move could lead the companies to censor legal speech as well. Rather than leaving companies to set their own terms of use, the code of conduct mandates that such rules “prohibit the promotion of incitement to violence and hateful conduct,” which is a vaguer and broader category than what European governments have outlawed.”
  • “It would fast-track the removal of content flagged by advocacy groups and other non-governmental organizations blessed by European officials, leaving those whose posts are blocked online with no due-process rights (the companies say they have internal appeals processes, but that’s a far cry from the court-supervised process under U.S. copyright law).”
  • “The code could set a precedent for other countries to force Internet companies to restrain speech more than their laws dictate or global principles of human rights support. For example, what if a repressive regime demands that social networks adopt rules banning “incitement to instability” or other code words for dissent?”
  • “But just as the United States has struggled to find the right balance between security and civil liberties, so too must the commission be careful not to squelch legal speech. The new code of conduct may be well-meaning, but it would have been better to have a truly voluntary effort by social networks backed by real due-process protections.”

While Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO has stated that the Code parallels ADL’s Best Practices for Responding to Cyberhate, and that empowering users to better report hate speech is the reason why ADL has brought it Cyber-Safety Action Guide to Europe, ADL acknowledges the concerns expressed by civil society and the Los Angeles Times, and continues to believe that voluntary efforts to combat online hate speech is preferable to government-imposed requirements.  ADL has committed to work with the European Jewish Congress and European Union of Jewish Students to expand ADL’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide for use by European citizens in the wake of the EU Code announcement.

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October 15, 2015

Instructional Content On How To Stab Jews Spreads On Social Media

Update – 10/20/15: After alerting Google, Facebook and Twitter to the problematic material cited in this blog post, all the items have been removed by those services in a prompt manner. 

As violence escalates in Israel, content has emerged across social media platforms—including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter—not only urging people to stab Jews, but providing instructional information on how to stab people and which knives to use.

The following is a sampling of Arabic-language posts ADL has identified in the past several days specifically providing information about how to stab victims. While such content is available is many languages, the Arabic language content seems geared toward Arabic speakers in Israel.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is alerting various social media companies about this content. ADL continues to work with the industry to improve policies and protocols for the removal of content that triggers violence or promotes bigotry, content that is contrary to the companies’ terms of service.

ADL continues to encourage the public to report such content. ADL Cyber-Safety Action Guide provides quick and easy access to company policies and complaint forms.

  • A video featuring two masked men demonstrating several stabbing techniques is available on several YouTube channels. The video, posted on October 5, is listed under several titles, including “Learn how to stab a Jew.” The video is also circulating on Facebook and Twitter.YouTube stab image
  • A number of Twitter users started posting a graphic last week describing what type of knife should be used for stabbing attacks in Israel. The image includes the following instructions: “Circulate: Regarding the Youth in the occupied lands, they must use serrated knives in stabbing so the air can enter the body of the target, which leads to immediate death, and the destruction of organs when the knife is pulled.”

“[Right side, in red] Use this”    “[Left side, in green] don’t use this”

Twitter stab image

  •  Other Twitter users using an Arabic hashtag “Slaughtering the Jews” posted a message that reads: “Don’t hesitate in using this quality (vegetable knife) as it’s the strongest in causing pain #SlaughteringtheJews.” Below is an example from October 8.Twitter 2 stab image
  • Several Twitter users recommend attaching a camera to the knife to record the stabbing in HD. For example, the tweet below from October 5 includes an image of a GoPro camera attached to a knife and hashtags that translate to  “West Bank is uprising” “Stab a soldier with a knife to liberate Palestine” and  “Intifada started.”Twitter 3 stab image
  • The following image posted on Facebook on October 14 shows a diagram of the circulatory system with suggestions of areas to stab. The image was included with an Arabic Facebook hashtag “Stab.”Facebook stab image.
  • The following image posted on Instagram on October 12 reads, “When you stab, put poison on the knife or soak the knife in vinegar. Stab with a screw driver and insert it in the neck….stabber stabber stab correctly.”Instagram stab image

 

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December 16, 2014

Eric Hunt Unveils New Film, Plans For Virtual Holocaust Denial Museum

eric-hunt-majdanek-gas-chamber-myth

Image promoting the film

Eric Hunt, a Holo­caust denier known for attack­ing Nobel Peace Prize win­ner Elie Wiesel, released a new film on December 6 titled The Majdanek Gas Chamber Myth.

Hunt’s new film, available on YouTube, uses clips of Holocaust survivors’ testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education (established by Steven Spielberg in 1994) to claim that “all the gas chambers in the Majdanek concentration camp were designed and built exclusively for sanitary purposes as disinfestation facilities.” Hunt portrays the Holocaust as a whole as “a deliberate psychological warfare campaign to con the world.”

Hunt similarly used clips from survivors in his previous films, including The Treblinka Archaeology Hoax released in May and The Jew­ish Gas Cham­ber Hoax released in March, both of which created buzz within the Holocaust denial movement.

eric-hunt-holocaust-hoax-virtual-museum-preview

Preview of Hunt’s “Holocaust hoax” virtual museum

In addition to creating these films, Hunt also started a new website called the “Holocaust Hoax Museum,” where he is working to create a virtual museum. When the site is completed, visitors will be able to tour the virtual space and “learn about how the genocidal ‘gas chambers disguised as showers’ myth promotes war.” Hunt is still soliciting donations to complete the project.

In The Majdanek Gas Chamber Myth, Hunt claims that “the gas chamber hoax has become a self-serving Jewish supremacist religious myth, which has no place in modern society.” He continues, “Holocaust hoaxers are holding onto this libelous charge for dear life” because without Majdanek, supposedly, “the Holocaust house of cards collapses.”

The film paints the Holocaust as part of a larger Jewish conspiracy to create infighting among Europeans, stating, “The gas chamber myth pushes Europeans apart. Jewish-owned media conglomerates inundate the gullible public with Holocaust gas chambers disguised as shower rooms propaganda, guilting Europeans to hate their people based on bogus atrocity lies.”

The film also claims that Jews use this “hoax” to justify Israeli military policies. Hunt says, “Israeli military brought to tour the fraudulent gas chambers at Majdanek are currently committing a very real genocide against innocent people in Palestine. Perhaps these Jews believe murdering Palestinian babies is justified because they were taught about extermination gas chambers disguised as shower rooms at Majdanek, but there’s no March of the Living for these dead Palestinians.”

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