social media experts : myth or reality?
target exposed... themselves

facebook : social governance is a dangerous game (updated)

Never again Is a picture of a breastfeeding woman pornographic?

Are pictures of Holocaust victims pornographic?

Should antisemitic groups be considered hate based, or are these forums for honest and open discussion?

Should Facebook be in the social governance game at all?

Facebook is walking a very dangerous line, both morally and legally.  By choosing a voice of "tolerance" towards intolerance, have they chosen to stand by the irrational, hateful and often racist minority? 

Personal Point of View

Holocaust denial is not a scientific argument.  It is not only illegal (in many places), it is not only immoral, but it is not based in reality. 

I have spoken with eyewitnesses who saw the death of tens of thousands of innocents, including friends and relatives.  My wife's grandfather never wears short sleeves because he doesn't want to see the numbers on this arm.  I have walked through the gas chambers and seen the crematoria first hand.  I personally attend the US trial of a convicted Nazi living here in NY.  I saw the uniforms, heard the expert opinion and read the press coverage of the resulting guilty verdict.

I worked side by side with the US Office of Special Investigations to bring political pressure and popular awareness to their efforts at bringing WWII criminals guilty of crimes against humanity to justice (this was about 10 years ago).  The US government, many European governments, the Catholic chruch, multiple international bodies of justice and law as well as dozens of war tribunals have confirmed the facts.

Conspiracy theory is not always harmless honest discussion.  You have the freedom to speak, but as with all freedoms, they are a right and a responsability, not a license to act hatefully.

Facebook is stuck between a rock and a hard place.  When they chose to police their content, to define "offensive" they walked into a minefield.  While this issue hits very close to my heart, this will be the first of many such issues to arise over the next few years. 

Facebook's action and inaction is actively defining not only their perspective on these issues, but their standards of practice moving forward.  Facebook, the ball is in your court.  We have seen what happens when good people stand silently by.  We are not prepared to let that happen

Nevertheless, seeing that these groups still exist serves as a powerful dose of reality for a good liberal NYer (I'm speaking of myself). 

Will this set a precedent for what is likely to come from Facebook?  How will they govern? 

Should they be positioning themselves as governance officers?

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Update: Facebook has now removed two groups, but three more remain. Facebook looks to be walked a tight rope, and whatever side they fall on, people will be unhappy.  You can't make everyone happy, but social governance is a dangerous game to begin with.  Personally, still not thrilled.  Facebook needs to make a public statement, clarifying their stance and actions to date, getting past this episode and moving forward.  Even if some people aren't happy, their anger will flair out.   Maintaining ambiguity is keeping this story in the spotlight.  Sources: CNET, TechCrunch, The Register, WebProNews, Inside Facebook, PC Mag and Switched.