This will be my only post in English, whether I will post more in English I don’t know yet. I usually post in German, even though I have lived in Ireland for a long time and the focus is Ireland, the UK and Europe. But I feel that the issue is too serious and more people should be reached to raise awareness, because for some time now I have felt that Facebook protects the extremists and punishes, like me, people who fight back.
Briefly about my personal history. My father’s family were all communists, my great-grandfather was in the SED after the war, after he was expelled from East Prussia. My great-uncle Robert fled to the Soviet Union after beating up the Gauleiter of East Prussia Erich Koch. He was never heard from again and it is assumed that he was killed. My father’s godfather died after his imprisonment in a concentration camp, and my grandparents‘ Jewish acquaintances fled or gradually disappeared because they did not want to believe they were in danger. I never met my grandfather. When the Germans left Upper Silesia after the First World War, my grandfather’s family simply went with them. Since he was Polish, he was drafted as a Volksdeutscher and has been missing since the beginning of 1945. My grandmother was regularly reported by the neighbours. Either she simply gave her food to a woman with a pram who wore a Jewish star, fed Russian and Italian prisoners of war, or beat up SA and SS men. Most of the time she was outside Berlin with her children. My mother’s great-aunt hid a Jewish family in the cellar during the war. My father fled the GDR in 1956 because he criticised the invasion of Hungary.
In order to protect me and my brother, because they were worried that the time of 1933 might return, they told me the story when I was 12. Since then, I have stood up against anti-Semitism, racism, injustice and human rights. It’s not something I’m proud of, because I think it should be in everyone’s interest.
Since it is not, I take to heart the principle, „if you want peace, prepare for war.“ My interests lie in history and politics and my former blog, especially the defence of Israel, led to my house being visited after someone found out my personal details, although I wrote under a pseudonym, as I do now.
So I can say I know what it’s like to have people who hate society preying on others. Be it religious, ethnic, or based on sexual orientation. Enemies of open society should not be given any space, there is no tolerance towards these people and you do not discuss with them.
For some time now, however, I have had the feeling that Facebook is protecting precisely this group and blocking its opponents. Confessed fascists are not allowed to be called fascists. Anti-Semites are not allowed to be called anti-Semites. If you demand the extermination of the state of Israel or the death of all Jews, you can be sure that Facebook will not find any violation of the community standards.
However, if you call these people idiots, or morons, you can be sure of being blocked from Facebook. The first time you can appeal, and the decision takes a long time, but the second time you are blocked you don’t have that option, so the other side can continue to spread their propaganda on social media and laugh their heads off at those who verbally oppose them.
Facebook reports on the successes it has achieved, dissenters deleted, Donald Trump deleted and Marc Zuckerberg proudly declares that his algorithm recognises and deletes 90% of hate speech, which makes me wonder whether the KuKluxKlan developed this.
With Facebook’s rubber paragraph harassment and bullying, Facebook sets the rules and can do as it pleases, or take action against critics. You can post collages of a swastika flag and a Star of David, no problem. You can create a Facebook page and call it „Jihadist National Socialist Democratic Party“, no reason for Facebook to take action. You can even demand that all politicians be hanged, Facebook doesn’t see any offence in that, but post a topless photo or remind people of the Reichskristallnacht, and you’ll be banned.
There are people on Facebook who jump like Pavlov’s dog only on posts about Israel and Jews. Facebook has no problem with this, but these people should be called for what they are, if they deny Israel’s right to exist, or deny Jews the right to exist, or deny the Holocaust, namely as anti-Semitic scum, Facebook will you be admonished.
For some time now, a self-confessed fascist has been on Facebook, targeting Jews and the state of Israel exclusively, denying the Jews‘ relationship to the Middle East and claiming that Jews never lived there and that the Israelites and Hebrews were the ancestors of the Palestinians. This is, of course, an outright lie, and he continues to claim that he knows history better than anyone else, that he doesn’t need books to know it.
He has a profile picture of a Roman centurion on his page, likes to share posts from the extreme right-wing party Fiamma Tricolore and supports Falange Española de las JONS, a fascist association in the Franco tradition.
Facebook has no problem with him spreading his poison unhindered, nor with him sharing fascist content on his page. Facebook has no problem at all with these groups and individuals. The company does not care. And since these people have not fallen on their heads and are ideologically trained, it is easy for them to spread their propaganda among the people, much to the delight of Islamist groups.
Attacks against dissidents, LGBT, religions, bullying and denial of history and science have their place on Facebook because it is tolerated. If someone homosexuals hate people and attack them in the comments, Facebook recommends – since it is usually not against the rules – that the attacked person should block the attacker, which does not solve the problem, it only shifts it, because the attacker continues to hate homosexuals and will harass them again and again.
Facebook is proud of the diversity they offer? Rather, Facebook should be ashamed of itself and Zuckerberg should ask himself if he is serious about his 90% nonsense when enemies of open society take over, because of lack of education amongst his employees, a course held about prevention or teach employees how to be sensible is by far not the solution.
Is it censorship? Might be possible but to show people like this fascist there is no room for extremism and protect people or groups which are clarifying certain things, rumors or conspiracy theories instead of attacking them could be a step forward to a Social Media where people feel comfortable and not stalked without the option to find help from Facebook.