Hate groups on Facebook

Daniel posted a comment today which I felt should be upgraded to a full entry. It concerned a Serbian nationalist hate group who are using Facebook to advocate anti-Muslim views and genocide denial.

Reuters’ reported the story earlier this week:

The group, created on Monday under the name “Close Group Noz Zica Srebrenica,” alerted administrators about the language of hatred against Muslims on the site.

“Administrator, we ask you to close the group ‘Noz, Zica, Srebrenica’, which glorifies the acts of genocide that took place in Srebrenica, where 8,000 men and boys were murdered,” read the Bosnian group header on Facebook.

“In addition, this group propagates hatred to all Muslims,” it said. Muslims or Bosniaks account for nearly half of the population of Bosnia, which they share with Roman Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs.

Like many sites of its kind, Facebook does have an extensive Terms of Use policy, which states that the user must agree not to:

*upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available any content that we deem to be harmful, threatening, unlawful, defamatory, infringing, abusive, inflammatory, harassing, vulgar, obscene, fraudulent, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
*intimidate or harass another;

Even though the story was published four days ago, the group remains active on Facebook. While it’s likely that none of the administrators can actually read the posts in Noz, Zica, Srebrenica, you would assume a different stance when it comes to American hate groups, particularly considering the above mentioned “Terms of Use.” Yet, after only a few minutes of searching I easily uncovered four active hate groups[1] on Facebook — American Vision, League of the South, The Knights Party (Ku Klux Klan), and multiple variations of White Pride.

We’ve known for years that the Internet gives hate groups and deniers the same exposure that non-profits and grassroots organizations have experienced. It does, however, raise questions about how they should be dealt with as well as how social networking spaces will ultimately be managed.

You can read Daniel’s full entry at his Srebrenica Genocide Blog.

[1] As defined by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

One thought on “Hate groups on Facebook”

  1. Rich, as you know, I completely agree with you about the entire first amendment thing. My note was actually intended as a question, for exactly the reason you’re referring to — because it is difficult to know how to handle these groups (unless the group is inciting violence in which case it’s not protected free speech).

    As for anti-Semitism, it’s been a continuing problem in Europe since WWII. The worst of it tends to be in Eastern Europe but it certainly raises its head in England, France, and Portugal as well.

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