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June 2, 2021 2:07 pm

Facebook Oversight Board Excoriated by ADL Over Refusal to Remove Blatantly Antisemitic Posts

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avatar by Ben Cohen

A screenshot of one of the offending antisemitic posts which Facebook refused to delete. Image: courtesy of ADL.

Facebook has turned down repeated requests to remove a series of gruesomely antisemitic posts, including one claiming that “Hitler was right,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) revealed on Wednesday.

In a lengthy letter to Facebook’s Oversight Board that was shared with The Algemeiner, the ADL spotlighted seven antisemitic posts that Facebook was alerted to last month.

One post approvingly quoted Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, on how Jews are supposedly “masters at manipulating public opinion.” A graphic alongside showed the logos of leading news and media organizations such as CNN, ABC, Fox, Showtime and others wrapped in the tentacles of an octopus marked with a large Star of David and the antisemitic “Happy Merchant” meme — a drawing of a Jewish man with stereotyped features greedily rubbing his hands together.

Another post on May 19 — prefaced by the words, “I hope this post doesn’t get deleted” — showed a man attending an anti-Israel demonstration while brandishing a placard that declared, “Hitler was right.” A related photo showed people trampling on an Israeli flag.

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The other five posts promoted untrammeled conspiracy theories that denounced “child-trafficking jewish (sic) Supremacists,” alleged that a “Jewish masonic mafia” had murdered “100 million non-Jews,” and depicted the Rothschild banking family — a long-favored target of antisemitic propagandists — as the world’s most powerful force.

According to the ADL’s letter, Facebook’s Oversight Board rejected requests to remove the offending content “both on the first and second levels of review.”

Continued the ADL: “We request that the Oversight Board put a stop to the implicit promotion of antisemitism on Facebook by overruling Facebook’s decisions to permit such content to flourish, and instead make clear that Facebook’s Community Standards prohibit such attacks on Jewish people based on ‘race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation’ and accusations that Jews ‘control major institutions such as … the government.'”

The letter also pointed out that Facebook’s own Community Standards forbid “dehumanizing comparisons, generalizations, or behavioral statements (in written or visual form).”

“Among these [specified] examples is ‘Jewish people running the world or controlling major institutions such as media networks, the economy or the government,'” the ADL stated.

In a statement, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt emphasized that the integrity of Facebook’s own standards was at stake.

“Especially in this time of rising antisemitic incidents, it is unacceptable that we have to turn to the Facebook Oversight Board to have Facebook enforce its own policies and stop the spread of virulent antisemitism on its platform,” Greenblatt said. “Despite its claims that it wants to do better to stop antisemitism from spreading, Facebook’s inaction speaks volumes.”

Greenblatt commented that it was “easy to come up with examples like this of dangerous antisemitic rhetoric. This content clearly violates Facebook’s Community Standards and we look forward to the Oversight Board’s ruling and seeing meaningful action to prevent this hate from spreading.”

A request from The Algemeiner to Facebook for a response to the ADL’s concerns was unanswered by press time.

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