The big question that caught my eye in the news recently regards Facebook’s ethical obligations.

13 countries have made Holocaust denial a crime. Personally, no matter how abhorrent I find the blatant dismissal of the Holocaust, I can’t stand behind the idea of outlawing a person’s right to believe in these thoughts.

While attorney Brian Cuban
seems to be steering clear of First Amendment issues, he is up in arms about the fact that Facebook, as a private company which does have the right to restrict speech, hasn’t removed Holocaust Denial groups such as “Holocaust: A Series of Lies,” and “Holocaust is a Holohoax”.

So the question isn’t if Facebook has a legal obligation to remove these groups, but if they have an ethical obligation.

After thinking on it a bit, I have to say no. In fact, I would say that under the ideals many of us live by, they have an ethical obligation not to remove these groups, provided they do not cause or advocate harm.

I think many people would agree that these groups are protected under freedom of speech in the United States – their purpose is not violent or threatening. As point of fact, Facebook often removes groups that promote violence, such as pro-KKK groups.

I am 100% against hate-speech. However, is disbelief in the historical accuracy of the Holocaust hate-speech? In my opinion, it’s more lunacy than hateful.

This is an issue that goes far beyond Facebook. At what point are disagreeable thoughts criminal? Or, for the purposes of this blog, unethical?

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad