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Anti-Semitism Spread by YouTube  (View post)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, February 7, 2007
12 years ago6,769 views

My opinion: videos like these are terrible, but censoring them is even worse – unless YouTube makes it clear that it's a moderated website only allowing certain kinds of subjects (it's their property, I guess, though people may just go elsewhere to spread their videos). But freedom of speech ought to apply *in particular* to what we despise. To only defend the freedom of speech we agree with is not defending it at all.

Oren Goldschmidt [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

The information we find most objectionable is exactly the information we should fight hardest to protect. YouTube shouldn't delete or moderate it – they should, instead, enable their users to moderate as a community.

Also (As an aside) jews did invent communism, but Marx and Engels envisioned a Utopian society, not Stalinism...

Pierre S [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

"but censoring them is even worse"
Not sure on that point..

Randall [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Seconded. As a Jew living in the US, I'm frankly more upset over Germany's censoring of anti-Semitic materials than by most of the anti-Semitic materials I've been presented with. To be fair, it's not like I've seen even a small fraction of the anti-Semitic stuff on the Internet – but that's sort of the point: if I don't want to be exposed to that sort of stuff, I can avoid it without infringing on others' freedom of speech. Censorship is not the answer – education is. With education, people can see these videos, and instead of thinking "Oh no! The International Jewish Conspiracy is trying to hide the truth!", think "I've seen the history and understand why this is wrong."

Oh, and from what I recall, the "Housewitz" video was about a Holocaust-themed rave. It wasn't claiming that the Holocaust didn't happen; it was just using the Holocaust as a theme for a massive drunken orgie. All of the references, the "7,000,000 party people," "3 Days of non-stopping partying," and "Hot showers (free)," are referring to events at this rave, not to someone's perception of what happened during the Nazi regime. One could perhaps argue that it was in bad taste, but I think it was sort of funny. I guess I've got a somewhat dark sense of humor.

David T [PersonRank 7]

12 years ago #

Those videos are disgraceful in my opinion.

I recently came across this article which talks about how the development of the web to 2.0 (the increase in user interactivity) is fuelling the increase of certain ideas:

businesslogs.com/web_20/digg_a ...

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I wish there were 20 nice videos of making fun of nazis, protesting against racists and creative resistance against xenophobia for every single video clip like the ones mentioned in the article.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

"but censoring them is even worse"

I absolutely agree. Censoring holocaust-denial videos gives strength to those who deny the holocaust, because the deniers convince themselves that the censors must be trying to stop the "truth" getting out, and must have "something to hide".

The best thing to do with holocaust-denial videos is to tolerate but ignore them. When they no longer get any attention, they'll become irrellevant and forgotten.

Oren Goldschmidt [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

My take on this? (In my usual bombastic style...) If you want to fight anti-semitism you don't do it via censorship, instead you teach them that;

Spinoza was both the heralder of the enlightenment, Salk contributed the single most significant advancement (In terms of lives saved) in medicine ever granted to humanity and Einstein, well, he granted us – in one fell swoop – the tools to march forward from a race gaining in survivability to a race doing no less than touching the face of God...

It could take millenia to detrench anti-semitism, but there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, and a group which truly believes that they are destined to be "A light unto the gentiles" can't afford to demand less freedoms for others than they have historically expected themselves (And I say this as an Zionist, Israeli Jew).

Peter [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

i can't believe that there exists still, in this day and age, people who would crush free speech. really, get a clue, man.

unbelievable. this is just not rocket science.

"It is a poor service to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust to adopt a central doctrine of their murderers."

Rxbbx [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

He guys.. one moment.. i hate anti-semitism.. i hate war.. No one should deny the holocaust but this specific video (Tanzen mach frei) was a fault from a student in Holland.. he did not mean it exactly that way.. Its old news in the Netherlands (2005). The "new" guy who posted it on YouTube.. He is sick..

For all other videos.. they are all nuts.. like the rxbbx.com/blog/2006/12/11/ahma ... they had in Iran. They should forbid it. Also on YouTube.. Its not normal to forbid it.. It brings agression. You cant speak of "freedom of speech" in such cases..

Rxbbx [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Its normal to forbid it.. should be a rule..

Jörg [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Regarding your rants on censorship (in Germany):
it's just against the law against denying the Holocaust. You probably can guess why.
It's that easy: no Nazi crap in German search engines and no nipples in U.S. television.

Any comments?

Hanan Cohen [PersonRank 7]

12 years ago #

We should remember the the law in Germany forbids publishing any anti-semitic and pro-nazis expressions.

The writer grew up in this culture, hence his atiitude towards this subject.

Oren Goldschmidt [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

Agreed...

Brock [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Rxbbx,

It is probably is "normal" to forbid speed which you disagree with. That doesn't make it right. Denying the Holocaust deniers is no better than denying the Holocaust itself. Speech (which does not directly incite to violence) needs to be free. At the very least, the louder we let the Holocaust denier speek, the more clear it becomes to us whose opinions we may ignore. I would rather they were public with their bigotry than in the closet about it.

Censorship does not fix bigotry any more than any more than covering your eyes with your hands makes the world disappear. It's still there; now you're just can't see it. The only counter to falsehood is truth, and truth (by its nature) will always win out in the end.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yes, Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany – furthermore, Google decided to censor some Holocaust denial newsgroup messages *globally*, at least from what I can tell (Seth Finkelstein brought this to my attention and he's in the US):
groups.google.com/groups/searc ...

Scroll down, and you will read:
<<In response to a legal complaint we received, we have removed one or more messages. If you wish, you may read the legal complaint.>>

The legal complaint link takes you to ChillingEffects, which explains:
<<On May 19, 2006, Google received a complaint about a Google Groups post that allegedly violates German law § 130 "Volksverhetzung." In response to this complaint, Google removed the post from Google Groups.>>

Jim Spice [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Keep in mind that the freedom of speech held dear by most Americans and gauranteed by the US Constitution applies only to government actions. Private companies can squash opinions 'til the cows come home. YouTube can yank away with no legal repurcussions – if they WANTED to, that is. Don't kid yourself; this is a business (read money) decision. The weather vane will point which ever way the money is blowing (speaking of which, have they made any yet?).

Spice

Randall [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I don't think we're arguing over what Google is legally entitled to do; we're debating what they morally should do: give hate-mongers a platform to speak from, or to deny them that speech. I would vote for the former. I don't agree that "denying the Holocaust deniers is no better than denying the Holocaust itself," but denying the Holocaust deniers is strictly worse than letting them speak. I mean, much of the time their own words will demonstrate how foolish they are; we should let them do our work for us. And yea, I recognize that in Germany, Nazi- and Holocaust-denial-related materials are illegal. I feel this is wrong.

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I don't think censoring antisemitic information helps reduce antisemitism. By censoring it, I agree that it just makes engaging in such activity more interesting to those sorts of people.

Oren Goldschmidt [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

These people feed on censorship; the more you shut them up, the greater their 'Martyr Complexes' grow. I reiterate my initial point – let them post whatever the hell they want and then let the users moderate (Or comment) them into oblivion.

Personman [PersonRank 8]

12 years ago #

I certainly agree that censoring them is much worse than permitting them – and I question your decision to publish this post without stating your opinion along with it. Many people probably don't read the comments, and might be led to believe that this post reflects your personal opinions.

Veky [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Well... it says "By Timo Heuer" at the bottom in my RSS reader. And it's pretty obvious that it's not Philipp's writing style (to anyone to whom it might be important)...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

This post mentions Timo's name both in the beginning and the end, so it's quite hard to miss. I think it's great to have different opinions on the blog, and I also hope everyone's posts will be read criticially, no matter who's the author.

Timo Heuer [PersonRank 2]

12 years ago #

Yeah, was very nice to publish something here on Blogoscoped. And I think everybody has it own writing style and that's very well.

And Istill think deleting them is the best way.

MarWi [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

The internet is a mirror of society – Breaking the mirror won't change the society. The internet is a place where freedom of speech should be the highest principle. Sure the anonymity in which people can express themselfs on the internet is a problem, but it likely provides a more realistic picture of what some still believe in (sadly, but true).

"I'd all but given up my crusade to rid the world of fools…there are, I found, just too many!" (by Spiderman / Issue 225 : kind of amazed me too...)

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

YouTube doesn't delete antisemitic videos, but it removed all accounts of men who posted some not pleasant quotes directly from Quran. Isn't that strange?

+ Show video

Kendall Schoenrock [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I was talking to Timo about his post and we decided that perhaps a better translation for “Housewitz – Tanzen macht frei” (“Housewitz – Dancing relieves") would be "Dancing brings freedom." This is a twist on "Arbeit macht frei" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbeit_m ... which means "work brings freedom" or "work shall set you free/will free you"

Timo Heuer [PersonRank 2]

12 years ago #

Yes, that's my mistake. I didn't realized the context between "Tanzen macht frei" and "Arbeit macht frei".

Stephan Locher [PersonRank 9]

12 years ago #

The only no violent method against nazis and similar subjects in my opinion is to be nice to them and show them that there is a better world as the brainwashed one thei're living.

Censorship can never be the solution, isn't censorship something like close the eyes from things that happen in the world and we don't want to see and act against it?

If you understand german the anti war movie about "Die weisse Rose" may be worth watching. It tells the story about german students during WWII which produce their own flyer in the underground against the censorship of the nazis. Doesn't youtube has an "Answer this Video" feature? If yes, just tell your version of history in a way that it attracts some "not so sure" Nazis and the free world has won over some stupid rassist bullshit.

What I don't get is the point why it's so important if the holocaust has happened or not. If some old people want to deny it, they should do this, it's only important that our generation knows that we don't want such a thing to happen in the future, no matter if it already happened in the past or not.

Apartheid for example is bad because it's always bad to discrime people and not because thei tried it in South Africa and didn't succed.

Hope that my thoughts make any sense to you, it's the first time I write in english about such an emotional subject.

Eytan Buchman [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

As a Jew living in Israel, I find myself conflicted by this. I have been to the concentration camps (many high schools send their seniors for a week long tour) and know how real they are. While it is obvious to all (or at least to most) of the people who posted here that the atrocities were real, one should bear in mind that there are many uneducated people out there. What we laugh at and shake off as absurd, some may take as serious.

However, I still contend that the videos should be left. While it is clearly YouTube's decision, I am a firm believer in the concept of free speech. Franklin's "I do not agree with what you say but will defend to death your right to say it" covers it all. We do not need to fall on propaganda or censoring – the truth is on our sides. In general, I think that either YouTube should clearly delineate what is permissible to post or not censor at all. That being said, it is a company and as such, it bears a responsibility towards its shareholders. Removing anti-Muslim comments, while annoying, is the smart thing to do. We all saw how quickly reactions can escalate and the prudent move was to remove them. Anyways, thats just my two cents.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I believe hate videos don't turn normal people into haters. They only work on those people who are already full of hate – self-hatred, actually, which is then projected on others; self-hatred which grew on the misery of their own real life, on the faint realization that they're complete idiots, nothing that feeds on the videos they're watching, or the songs they're listening to, or the books they're reading.

And pragmatically speaking, remove those videos from public places, and the only difference you'll make is that some idiots will have to receive their stimuli from underground sources; this kind of secrecy only increases the pride the group will have. If an argument is made, it should not be censored, but be ignored, or countered with a better argument, I think.

We also need to remember that any kind of censorship will always affect each of us, and not just the idiots. For example, my own orders are opened at the local customs office. They're looking for swastikas when I order comics from Fantagraphics. As another example, Germany's censorship laws are now cited by smart people who want to defend censorship in other countries. These smart people say, "it happens in Germany too" to shift focus from China, for example. A very dangerous precedent we're setting in Germany, and it's more akin to Nazi methodlogy – book burnings – than Germans might realize. Digital censorship, like Google.de censorship – which is actually more perverted than "plain censorship" because it additionally "kills the messenger," so to speak (the data doesn't originate with Google!) – doesn't result in smoke clouds, so it's a lot more subtle and easily ignored.

dfsda agdofjig [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

all the videos has been removed.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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