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[flagged] Anne Frank Center asks Facebook to remove Holocaust denial pages (engadget.com)
26 points by deegles 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 28 comments

Note that the "Anne Frank Center" is a political advocacy organization that simply uses the name, but has no real connection to the person beyond that.

The 'Anne Frank' Center needs to be put into context here:


>With just its famous name and a savvy social-media strategy, the Anne Frank Center has transformed into a putative authority on anti-Semitism and American politics. But it’s not at all clear the organization speaks for anybody other than its own leaders—not Holocaust scholars, Anne Frank’s family, or the Jewish community. Ultimately, by politicizing Anne Frank, the group may undermine her legacy.

They are just a bunch of grifters IMHO. They have no connection to the Frank family nor to any other aspect of the Anne Frank story.

It is the same as if I started the Nikola Tesla Research Center (I have no connection to Tesla).

Or a car company?

Tesla isn't (aside from the EV evangelism) trying to speak in the public square as a moral authority by using someone else's famous name.

It’s important to note that most holocaust deniers don’t actually think the holocaust didn’t happen. They just feel like Jews “get a free pass because of it” and want to cause problems for Jews as a response to that.

'The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering is a 2000 book by Norman G. Finkelstein, in which the author argues that the American Jewish establishment exploits the memory of the Nazi Holocaust for political and financial gain, as well as to further the interests of Israel.[1] According to Finkelstein, this "Holocaust industry" has corrupted Jewish culture and the authentic memory of the Holocaust.'


But can that really be classified as Holocaust Denial though?

It seems like you could write any similar book about racism or sexism or any other form of persecution and argue how it corrupts the authentic struggles of that minority or group.

It is related, but fairly tangential to denying specific historic facts.

By people who would do anything to discredit such a book? Sure.


You can't do this here. Please don't do it again.

Ballpoint was invented in 1888, around 40 years earlier:


Wikipedia seems to indicate that commercial production started in 1943, in Argentina.

No, it doesn't; it explicitly mentions (though does not name) commercial efforts prior to that starting early in the 20th C that failed to be commercial successes because of various issues with ink, etc., and that the first successful line, from later ballpoints derive, began production in 1943 in Argentina.

Just because they weren't commercially successful doesn't mean there weren't people who had then and used them.

Is the insinuation that Nazis wrote Anne Frank's diary?

No, not at all.


We've banned this account for repeatedly violating the site guidelines.


Not really a fan of the NYT but this article seems to lay out most of the issues around the book.

The diary as originally presented to the public, was edited by Otto Frank: https://www.nytimes.com/1989/06/08/books/an-authenticated-ed...

> Denying the Holocaust causes harm.

I'm not sure I agree with this line, but perhaps I can be convinced. The way I see it, with all the world's information in everyone's pocket, blindly taking random social media posts at face value is what causes the harm.

The authors of the page clearly have an agenda. We all know the Holocaust occurred, so why let a page challenging or attempting to rewrite history exist? You're delusional if you don't think there are people who get all their news from their filter bubbled Facebook timeline.

Not arguing for or against, just something to think about: By that same token, they should also shut down any FlatEarth pages too... But then if we do that, where is the line and who decides it?

> You're delusional if you don't think there are people who get all their news from their filter bubbled Facebook timeline.

I'm not sure how you inferred that I don't think that when that's pretty much what I directly implied, and that is what causes the harm - self imposed ignorance.

To the people who will say that Facebook is a private company, the first amendment doesn't apply, etc: I get it, you're right.

These affronts to freedom of expression are concerning. It's important to allow Holocaust deniers, Sandy hook deniers, 9/11 truthers, anti-vaxxers, Christian Scientists, flat earthers, etc to have a platform, for them and for us. You can't protected people from stupid ideas, and more and more we are just forcing these people into echo chambers.

Ideas need to see the light of day, especially bad ones. The more discourse and dialog (and not insults) we share, the more quickly misaligned beliefs will fade.

To me, it's more like Facebook (and Twitter, and Apple, etc.) are more like "TV channels" and these posts are sort of like their "shows". Just like advocacy groups used to put pressure on advertisers to have "objectionable" shows taken off the air, advocacy groups here are pushing to get "objectionable" posts removed from specific web sites. So, like an old TV station, the web sites have to decide if the revenue that the posts are bringing in offsets the potential loss of revenue associated with being seen to condone the content. I'm a lot more concerned when they talk about removing "objectionable" content from the internet completely (which includes trying to force Google to censor search results).

I disagree.

No, we can't protect folks from stupid ideas. But you can stop them from spreading as quickly and try to protect people against actively harmful ideas and ones whose very intention is to spread hate or harm or divisions in peoples.

Anti-vaxxers, for example. This is actively harmful to people. This group of folks can kill innocent folks simply by refusing to vaccinate. Christian scientists? There are reasons to suspicious of some science, sure, but these folks are using the "science" bit to try to make folks believe in religion and discredit actual science. Holocaust deniers? Racists or stupidity. The actual message doesn't matter - it is knowingly offensive to groups of people. Sandy hook deniers have harassed victims.

Flat earth can be a fun theoretical topic to discuss so long as everyone is of the understanding that the earth isn't actually flat. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

As far as their echo chamber is concerned, they already have it. Having mainstream sources cater to their views just increases the echo chamber. We already know folks have it. It also makes it easier to recruit others into that echo chamber. We can't stop it, but we can surely make it more difficult to create one, make it more difficult to convince folks, and so on.

If we truly have a marketplace of ideas then shitty ideas should be able to fail in the market.

Denialism has already seen the light of day. Why must we enforce that it continues to see the light of day forever?

>If we truly have a marketplace of ideas then shitty ideas should be able to fail in the market.

This implies that the marketplace of ideas optimizes for truth, which may not be the case.

>Why must we enforce that it continues to see the light of day forever?

Either it lives in the shadows forever, or the light of day forever, but it never goes away. With each succeeding generation as history becomes more abstract, denialism and revisionism becomes easier to justify and accept.

After all, why are there more people who believe the Moon landing was a hoax, now, than believed it when the event was recent, living memory? Because it's no more real to modern people than fiction.

The same effect applies to the Holocaust. History becomes myth, myth becomes farce. We forget the lessons of the past and we're doomed to repeat them. The only thing the suppression of shitty ideas does is make the wheel turn faster.

The usual argument is:

The process that decides what should be censored might easily be used to squash valuable and important minority dissent in the future.

Because we are a great, enlightened, quickly broadening and quickly advancing society that is inoculated from the chattering of small minds.

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