Exclusive: Freedom Of (Hate) Speech?

by GADI ADELMAN July 19, 2010
As with any social networking site that is free and accessible to millions of people worldwide you are bound to have issues and therefore many rules as well. According to the Facebook “Terms” last updated April 22, 2010:
6- You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
7- You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
10- You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory.
How well is Facebook enforcing the Pages that blatantly break these rules?
There are 282 pages on Facebook of pages with the name “F*** Israel!”, or “F*** you Israel!” Some of these pages have over 30,000 members.  I know that they have been reported because I had hundreds, if not thousands, of associates and their colleagues report these pages on several occasions since January.
Samplings of posts from some of these pages are vile to say the least (beware of clicking the links on account of foul language):
you F***in jew! do you wanna die or what? i am gonna make soap from you! from all jews! sieg heil!!!!!
F*** Jews Page:
Simona Liukenskiene: yup, kill them all \m/
Matt Kliethermes: Hey Simona my band has a song called Dead Jews Do No wrong
F*** You Israel Page, discussing Hitler:
Kamal Saba god rest his soul he is our man for burning and grilling the jews
Kamal Saba soon hes coming back to grill netenyaho and companyyyyyy hahahahah
And then there are those whose Page name says it all: Why didn't Hitler get Tactical Nuke first? He had a 6 million kill-streak.
Among the full page of various rules and regulations it is explained that Facebook can, of course, close your account at any time for the breach of any of these rules:
If you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement, or otherwise create risk or possible legal exposure for us, we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you. We will notify you by email or at the next time you attempt to access your account. You may also delete your account or disable your application at any time.”
One way, and undoubtedly the most commonly used way of having Facebook shut down a page is by sending a notification from your Facebook page to the Facebook Administrators. The problem with this is: the amount of people that send in notifications just because they don’t like what someone posted, even if it doesn’t break the rules.
From any page you can click on “Report Page” which then loads a drop down box of the following:
Nudity or Pornography
Impersonating me or someone I know
Racist/Hate speech
Targets me or a friend
Direct call for violence
Excessive gore or violent content
I personally know of over a dozen people who have had their Facebook pages removed due to a complaint by another Facebook user, and they had to fight to get it back. In some cases they were never able to get back their page.
In each and every case I know of, the person was accused of “Racist/Hate speech” because they said one or more things that offended a Muslim. Never, in any of these cases did anyone call for, hint or advocate violence of any kind towards any individual, group or religion. Every one of these cases people had stated things about terrorism, Islamic law (Sharia) and the Quran. I read the posts that caused these pages to be removed by Facebook and in every single instance, the statements were factual. At no time was anything personally derogatory either said or implied.
What started as a way for people to connect and re-connect with other people has become a place for everything from “Fan Pages” to “instant messaging” to “blogging” to instant news, politics and ultimately,  even “cyber bullying” that ended in suicide
In February 2004 Mark Zuckerberg was a sophomore at Harvard and started a website that was exclusive to Harvard students. The new idea that he started with three of his fellow students Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin was known as Facebook.
 The original idea for Facebook was actually something borrowed from Zuckerberg's prep school Phillips Exeter Academy, which for years had published a manual of all students and faculty, unofficially called the "face book". In June of 2008 Facebook surpassed MySpace as World's Most Popular Social Network and in February of this year Facebook membership reached over 400 million people.
Now, according to NBC News from July 14, 2010, “Facebook has a new PR issue on its hands”:
“Apparently, it’s made as many as 2.5 million customers mad enough to threaten a boycott.
The group claims to represent Muslims who are mad about the removal of four Facebook pages.
These are the pages no longer available on the site:
They go on to list their demands:
  1. Reactivating the four pages that have been disabled.
  2. Adding a Facebook Term that illegalizes disrespecting all Islamic religious symbols, including Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the Qur'an, as well as Prophet Moses (PBUH), Prophet Jesus (PBUH), and the original Bible.
  3. Disabling any Facebook Page, Group, or Event that shows direct or indirect disrespect towards Islamic religious symbols.
The deadline is a week from today.  The group claims it has hundreds of thousands of users who are ready to jump ship to another site called madina.com, which is an “Islamic social networking site.”
Wait, let me get this straight…  Make it “illegal to disrespect all Islamic symbols” as well as “Disabling any Facebook Page, Group, or Event that shows direct or indirect disrespect towards Islamic religious symbols”?
What about the over 300 Pages calling for the death and destruction of Israel, Jews, Christians and America?
Most of the hate posts on these pages are in Arabic which is easily translated, but some of the English posts on these pages call for “Death to Israel”, “Death to Jews”, “Finish what Hitler started”, They call all Jews “Pigs and monkeys”, etc. The profile pictures on these pages have everything from the Israeli flag in flames as well as the American and Israeli flags burning to Israeli flags with a swastika in place of the Jewish Star.
When it comes to Islam, we know how easily offense is taken. Pakistan shut down Facebook for 11 days back in May 20, 2010. Yes, Pakistan, as in the whole country, in protest against “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” on Facebook. According to “Inside Facebook”, an independent service of Inside Network, the first company dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform:
“Pakistani judges ruled to ban Facebook in the country Wednesday in anticipation of May 20, which a Facebook Page had claimed would be “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” The ban began Wednesday evening and is to be in effect at least until the end of the month. Tuesday the Page had about 42,000 fans and it’s since almost doubled to about 82,000; there are also countless imitation Pages and dozens upon dozens of opposition Pages.”
Bangladesh also banned Facebook from May 29, 2010 until June 8th for the same reason – “Draw Mohammed Day”. A report from Asia News.it stated:
“Facebook is again accessible in Bangladesh after “offensive” cartoons were removed. The famous online social network was blocked on 29 May after the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad was deemed offensive to the religious sentiments of the Muslim majority of the population. In Bangladesh, Muslims represent 90 per cent of the population.”
Okay, so the “Draw Mohammed Day” was found to be offensive by Muslims. We all know what happened after the Danish Cartoons of Mohammed came out on September 30, 2005.
But here is the pot calling the kettle black; one of the “demands” as mentioned in the NBC story above is: “Reactivating the four pages that have been disabled”. Two of the page names on the list, Rassoul Allaah and Quran Lovers are both listed on the “info” portion page of the most popular “F*** Israel” page. I guess it’s okay to call for the death of Israel and the Jews, but “don’t disrespect Islamic religious symbols”.
There is really no surprise here. Radical Muslims and even Islam as a whole have always been hypocrites when it comes to freedom of speech. They can say whatever they want about Jews, Israel, America or Christianity. Say one thing about Mohammed and there will be a “Fatwa” on your head, calling for your death, faster than Ahmadinejad can deny the Holocaust.
As explained by “The Religion of Peace” website:
“The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.”
According to the website “Secrets of Quran miracles” by Abduldaem Al-Kaheel where he wrote about the “mocking” of Mohammed he asks the question:
“Praise to Allah! How dare they, mocking Muhammad (peace be upon him), the greatest creature of Allah?”
Later in the same article he answers the question:
“But let's first read what Allah says about these mockers, God says in the Holy Quran:
 Lo! those who malign Allah and his messenger, Allah hath cursed them in the world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained* and those who malign believing men and believing women undeservedly, they bear the guilt of slander and manifest sin. {Al-Ahzab: 57-58}.
These drawings are bad deeds to Allah, mockery of his messenger causes harm for every believing man and woman. So, we warn them of a painful punishment if they do not desist.”
Facebook has its hands full and I understand that, there are many other pages here that I have yet to mention from the KKK and White Supremacist groups to one page by the name of “F*** Palestine”. Yes, there is only page by that name as opposed to the 282 pages by the similar name with Israel.
Does Facebook actually believe that they may lose 2.5 million Muslim members if these demands are not met? For that matter, do they really care when these same people are calling for the death of Israelis, Americans, Jews, Christians and even other Muslims on a daily basis?
Not a day goes by without a terror attack in the name of Islam. At the time of this writing there had been only 2,973 days since 9/11/01, yet there have been 15,678 deadly terrorist attacks all in the name of Islam since 9/11/01. This past week alone there were 40 attacks with 276 killed and 595 critically injured. 
At what point do we stop this politically correct madness and draw the line between freedom of speech and hate speech? At what point do we look at what culture or group is asking us to never say anything negative about them, their so-called religion or their Prophet while all the while they spew their hate, celebrate and call for death of others?
It is near impossible to “police” the internet and certainly Facebook cannot control over 400 million pages. As Pakistan and Bangladesh have shown, it is just easier to shut an entire site down rather than trying to pick and choose.
Facebook is a free site and anyone who finds anything offensive has the same rights as everyone else, Muslim or otherwise. I only hope that those threatening to leave if “their” demands are not met do what any one of us can do, stop using it and click the little “X” in the top right corner of the page.
Trust me; your hate speech will not be missed.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 9PM est. on his own radio show “America Akbar” on Windows to Liberty Radio Network. He can be reached through his website http://gadiadelman.com.

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