Technically Incorrect has posted an interesting article on censorship instigated by Dallas Cowboys owner Mark Cuban's brother and attorney for his companies, Brian. Brian has written to Facebook demanding to know why the social-networking site allows Holocaust denial groups. His opinion is that this is not a First Amendment issue.
"The belief that the First Amendment protects speech in the private social media arena or at your place of employment is a common misconception," he says.
Facebook is able, as a private entity, to choose its own rules with regards to free speech. However, he believes its terms of service very clearly limit the content that can be featured on any Facebook page. You cannot "upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that would constitute, encourage or provide instructions for a criminal offense, violate the rights of any party, or that would otherwise create liability or violate any local, state, national or international law."
Although Holocaust denial is not illegal in the US, it is a crime in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Israel, Slovakia, and Switzerland.
To Cuban, any Holocaust denial group is clearly committing an illegal act in those countries. He has therefore written to Facebook asking the company why it permits the five Holocaust denial groups he has found on the site.
Chris Matyszczyk had a detailed e-mail Q&A Wednesday with Facebook's spokesman, Barry Schnitt. He publishes it here in full.
Not a word that is new, but an interesting back and forth. Once again the rich and influential want to censor revisionist arguments for reasons that go deeper than mere thought