A few months ago, Holocaust denier Bradley Smith joined Facebook. Smith runs an organization called the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), and is most famous for his “Campus Project,” which he began in 1991 and is ongoing, in which he seeks to disseminate Holocaust denial among college students by taking out ads in college student newspapers and, occasionally, by arranging speaking engagements on campuses. Smith’s early ads were rather explicit in their questioning of the Holocaust, but over the years he has been forced by increasingly savvy editors to tone down his ad copy. His most recent round of ads barely mention the Holocaust at all, and rely on links to his website to get his propaganda across to unsuspecting students. (ADL has a pretty good write-up of Smith, his background and activities.) Like many other Holocaust deniers, Smith prefers to describe himself as a Holocaust “revisionist.”
In the latest issue of his newsletter (creatively named Smith’s Report), Smith explains his reason for joining Facebook:
The purpose of Smith and CODOH being on Facebook is to promote CODOH and all the Web pages that CODOH supports. We want to put as much revisionist material on Facebook as possible where it can be seen by as many people from as many places on the globe as possible….Some 1,200 of [Facebook] users have chosen to be “friends” of Smith and CODOH over the last six weeks. The hope is that we will get a lot more, and that a couple handfuls (to begin with) will become revisionists and supporters.
Should Bradley Smith be allowed on Facebook? Facebook’s Terms of Service include two points that are relevant to this question. ToS item 3.7 states that users “will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence” (emphasis mine). ToS item 3.10 states that users “will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory” (again, emphasis mine).
Smith admits that he uses Facebook to spread Holocaust denial. So is Holocaust denial “hateful,” “misleading” or “malicious?”
The answers is yes on all three accounts. It is clearly “misleading.” But it is also a form of anti-Semitism. It postulates the existence of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to defraud non-Jews, and casts Holocaust survivors and their families as charlatans and crooks. It implies that Jews have inordinate influence over academics, the media, Hollywood, and even governments — influence that they used in order to perpetrate the Holocaust “hoax.” Holocaust denial is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in action. I think that qualifies as “hateful” and “malicious.”
Bradley Smith is in violation of Facebook’s terms of service. His profile should be removed.
Update: Facebook has a procedure for reporting hate content. On the lower left-hand column of his profile, click “Report/Block this person.” A pop-up will appear asking you to specify the nature of the problem. See screenshot below.