Facebook’s Peter Stern who is on Facebook’s Community Standards team recently wrote to Holocaust educators in response to Facebook’s decision to allow “inaccuracies”. He wrote that “Facebook rejects hate” though allows “things that are wrong or untrue”.
But, as my late father would say: “One thing leads to another.” How does hate develop? What feeds it? What spurs it to action? Only this: things that are wrong or untrue.
Hatred is learned. Fear and jealousy can find an outlet in victimhood and blame merely by employing “things that are wrong or untrue”. Ignorance provides fertile ground for untruths to sow the seeds of doubt. Hatred, and being called to act on it, are already halfway down the slippery slope.
Truth is always the first casualty. Any assault on the truth must be taken seriously – in any platform where it exists.
If Facebook rejects “hate” then it must also reject “untruth”; hatred begins with untruth and ignorance. Nothing else. Facebook cannot have it both ways.
Sir Martin did not allow even a “maybe” or a “perhaps” in the writing of history. He writes: “What happened in the past is unalterable and definite.” Publishing “things that are wrong or untrue” clouds even more this murky world we need to navigate.
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