Join 3,523 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

hate site link warning
March 18, 2005 3:17 PM   Subscribe

The first link on this thread The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz is to a Nazi site, pushing a holocaust denial agenda. Can the FPP be edited to flag this up, so people know what they're clicking on? It turned out that the poster had a good reason for giving that link, but I would have preferred to have had that explanation up front. The lack of explanation led to a derail on the thread. In general, I think it would be courteous to flag up links to neo-nazi sites, so people can make an informed decision about whether to visit them.
posted by Flitcraft to Etiquette/Policy at 3:17 PM (69 comments total)

In a lot of workplaces, surfing to hate sites is just as bad as surfing for porn. NSFW tag is appropriate.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:22 PM on March 18, 2005


Agreed, it should probably be edited. Also, agreed, the poster had a good reason, and should not be vilified. An "honest mistake", if anyone in the internet actually admits those exist any more.
posted by Bugbread at 3:31 PM on March 18, 2005


yup..should be tagged NSFW or Warning or something.
posted by amberglow at 3:33 PM on March 18, 2005


Gestapo-filter -- agree, lets not give the site credit since they may profit from it. Useful sites were presented and the US library can rightfully tell all you need knowing about the brown shits.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:37 PM on March 18, 2005


It bothered me to watch how the post deteriorated. The book just came out - I got an email from the author of the book about five days ago, so who knows how Gregb1007 wound up taking his source from this site.

I was going to answer the post, but decided against it. My answer was about the fact that I spent a couple of weeks researching the same family, interviewing old folks in the village of Rozavlea, Romania, and eventually put out a CD of Jewish music originating from the same village. But it seems the thread is going to die in infancy.

My take is that the post wasn't intending to spread Holocaust revisionism. If you do Jewish research in east Europe today, the only people you can interview are those that survived - i.e. did not die. I have met two of Mengele's experiment victims in the course of my Jewish ethnomusicology research, and both of them openly stated that their survival was due to Mengele's intervention - as well as their inability to have children.

I live in Hungary, were open Holocaust revisionism is my daily news breakfast whenever we have a "not leftist" government. And when we do, there are still about three weekly "opposition" papers and one radio show on government funded radio that are openly revisionist. you get used to it, to an extent. But I really doubt that the post was envisioned this way.

The descendants of the other Jewish family from Rozavlea that survived lives behind my apartment house - I can see them when I drink my morning tea. I'll ask them what they think - the wife runs a Jewish studies program at a Budapest University.
posted by zaelic at 4:01 PM on March 18, 2005


All it needed was NSFW.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:13 PM on March 18, 2005


I just opened Negev / Koren's author email, and if you want more info about this story, buy the book "In Our Hearts We Were Giants" instead of patronizing this despicable web site.

The book was published by the following publishers:
Germany (Econ, 2003),

Holland (Kok, May 2004)

USA (Carroll & Graf, June 2004)

France, (Payot-Rivages, January 2005).

And will appear soon in Hungary, Israel and South Korea.


Also, the web site linked says the family was from Hungary. they were from Rozavlea, which is in the region of Maramures, in northern Romania. It used to be part of Hungary, but in essence it is a part of the province of Transylvania, and in the mess of Hapsburg-Loser-Syndrome it was granted to Romania after the first world war in 1920. The Hungarians took it back in 1941 and lost it again in 1944.

And please forgive my nasty syntax tonite - it is late and I just cracked a bottle of palinka when I started metafiltering....
posted by zaelic at 4:30 PM on March 18, 2005


As long as we're in the grey:

Davy, WTF?

I realize telling you you're being oversensitive in this instance would get me nothing but crap so I won't.

She's being oversensitive because she unwittingly went to a Holocaust denier's web site and is (understandably) concerned that there should have been a disclaimer on the link? Give me a break.

Your "strong disapproval (to put it mildly)" of the Shoah doesn't excuse your complete lack of understanding of, or empathy for, the lasting effects of the Holocaust on some modern Jewish families (fortunately, not mine among them), nor of the offensiveness of those who would deny the atrocities ever took place; and your failure to grasp that page hits can be viewed as a measure of support for a site astounds me.
posted by aberrant at 4:32 PM on March 18, 2005


Zaelic, thanks for your fascinating and helpful posts about your research and about the book.
posted by Flitcraft at 4:53 PM on March 18, 2005


rel="nofollow" at the very least.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:27 PM on March 18, 2005


zaelic, I want to thank you too. And thanks to you, too, Flitcraft, for your careful handling of this. I too don't think the poster was ill intentioned, but I wouldn't have chosen to click through if the link was labelled -- nsfw, definitely, but it helps to further clarification on why it's not safe. That way, people who choose not to give a Holocaust denier's site traffic would know exactly what the link entails.
posted by melissa may at 5:27 PM on March 18, 2005


your failure to grasp that page hits can be viewed as a measure of support for a site astounds me.

Um, I'm fairly sure there are hundreds of examples of sites linked here that we don't support; we ridicule and take them apart piece by piece. Linking does not equal support, as there are no ads or monetary benefits to a visitor hitting this page.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 5:42 PM on March 18, 2005


Flitcraft (et al): What part of "The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz" did you not understand? For goodness sake, woman, use your fucking brain! Sheesh!

"She's being oversensitive because she unwittingly went to a Holocaust denier's web site and is (understandably) concerned that there should have been a disclaimer on the link?"

Most definitely, YES!

Everyone should regard every MeFi link as potentially offensive. That is the nature of MeFi. Are you people really so sheltered that you need such handholding?
posted by mischief at 6:02 PM on March 18, 2005


Potentially offensive? Sure. However, there is a massive difference between the offense that, say, a page I disagree with politically might give, or from some asshole linking goatse, and the offense from seeing a page that advocates killing my family.

I don't believe that the original poster set out with some sort of revisionist agenda, the post itself would suggest the complete opposite. However, I really don't understand how some people simply refuse to see that this goes well above and beyond the normal opinion clashes on metafilter. This isn't liberal vs conservative, this isn't arguing about medicaid reforms, this is determining if a site advocating genocide has any place on the front page, and if people have a right to be upset by it.

I thought the post was interesting, I would have enjoyed it far more had it not caused me to unwittingly give support by way of internet traffic to some nazi asshole's webpage. It's not that I'm such a delicate fucking flower that I crumbled into tears at seeing the page. It's that people who run those sites claim their internet traffic is proof of the popularity of their beliefs, and I don't want to help lend any credence to that argument.
posted by Kellydamnit at 6:36 PM on March 18, 2005


Kellydamnit makes a good point.

There was more "moral" outrage at the SuicideGirls pictures, and at linking to that she-male picture deep in the UN Owen thread without a warning, than there is to posting a link ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE BLUE to a neo-nazi Holocaust denier's site. (BTW, did anyone else catch the favicon? Very nice. It's cached, for those of you who visited.)

Metafilter: Priorities? What priorities?
posted by aberrant at 7:05 PM on March 18, 2005


"people who run those sites claim ..."

Say no more. "Claim". That is all these people can do. By objecting to hit that link based on that claim you give them that credence. Further, your expecting every MeFite to know that you don't want to visit such sites validates them even further, and for that, yes, you are, in your own words, a "delicate fucking flower".

Like I asked originally, what part of "The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz" did you not understand?
posted by mischief at 7:13 PM on March 18, 2005


Mischief:

Like I asked originally, what part of "The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz" did you not understand?

You seem to be insinuating that the title of the post somehow gave a clue as to the link, thereby obviating the need for a warning. What's the connection?
posted by aberrant at 7:21 PM on March 18, 2005


mischief, here's the part of "The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz" I didn't understand: that when I clicked the link, instead of being directed to some serious discussion of the material (which is how the post was worded and the discussion was meant to be), I ended up at a hate site written by someone positing that the family's testimony must have been faked because no one actually ever smelled Zyklon B. There was nothing in the original post warning this was the case, or contextualizing it in any way. What about that being surprising is so difficult to understand?

The resulting derail of what could have otherwise been a productive, educative discussion shows what a difference a word of warning (or omitting the link altogether, as it was only included for the pictures, not the text) could have accomplished.

I've read a lot of literature of the Holocaust, taken and taught courses in it, and have family history connected to it, so I'm not exactly a shivering peony on the subject either. This is a reasonable, respectfully framed and simple request so that people can make an informed choice. So can the insults; they are undeserved.
posted by melissa may at 7:47 PM on March 18, 2005


I'm a historian. I know perfectly well what went on at Auschwitz. I fully expect links on such historical topics to contain disturbing material. What I don't expect here is to find someone using - without comment - a site which exists to spread lies about the holocaust as a source for holocaust history. If someone has a good reason for using what would normally be a terrible source and puts the reason up front, then I find that helpful. It avoids misunderstanding. People who don't want to give traffic to a holocaust denier can avoid it. People who (themselves or their families) are the targets of the site's anti-semitism can choose not to go there. The rest of us are clued up in advance about what sort of source we're about to read.

People with interesting stuff to share like Zaelic were turned off because the main link was to such a problematic source. If the FPP had been clearer about the site and why it was used, then much of that could have been avoided. It's helpful to warn people that they're about to step in shit.
posted by Flitcraft at 7:54 PM on March 18, 2005


With only two links in the post I don't see why gregb1007 couldn't have bothred with a wee warning. Not that is think it deserves a NSFW blurb but some form of warning is warranted really.
posted by dabitch at 8:22 PM on March 18, 2005


Well, there's actually three links in the post. As I said before, I would be happy to put in some kinda blurb, or even remove that link altogether, if it were possible to edit the post after the submission point. It's unfortunate that I haven't noticed that the article was hosted on a holocaust denier site; if I had, then I would have used an alternate link. That way people would have ended up talking about the content of the story instead of being justifiably shocked by the agenda of its website.
posted by gregb1007 at 9:44 PM on March 18, 2005


Everyone should regard every MeFi link as potentially offensive. That is the nature of MeFi.

So folks who read Mefi at work are just shit out of luck? Is that really what you're saying here, mischief? That there's no responsibility to the community to flag links that might cause trouble for some fellow community members who happen to surf during work hours? Sure, the work issue wasn't a concern for Kellydamnit, but your statement above goes way beyond this particular case and appears to argue against the need for any warnings at all. Is that really your position?

If you're suggesting that only "oversensitive" folks in need of "handholding" could possibly want a warning for a front-page link to a nude site, I'd love to see that argument made explicit. If not, your case against the need for a similar warning for a hate site seems to fall apart pretty quickly.
posted by mediareport at 10:16 PM on March 18, 2005


So will the post be edited? Seems everyone agrees, even the poster gregb100, that all it needs is a bit of a flag.
posted by dabitch at 10:38 PM on March 18, 2005


Innocent mistake in an otherwise solid post. Can't we assume decency until proven otherwise?
posted by LarryC at 11:52 PM on March 18, 2005


LarryC, I think everyone's been careful not to assign bad motives to gregb1007; the objection was to the link. And now that he's agreed himself that the post needs editing, I hope it happens soon.
posted by melissa may at 12:29 AM on March 19, 2005


I think the issue is, where do you draw the line? Things that might not get me fired, might get you fired, so how would I know that? Do we need to qualify every link that might possibly offend someone? For example, there are Christian sites that offend me, but I highly doubt anyone here is going to clarify those links, because I am in a minority view. Do we say, screw the minority groups? What if I was a nazi who was offended by a Jewish site? Would you clarify your link for me?

I'm playing Devil's Advocate here in a way, but this does concern me. I understand why people were upset, but at the same time I don't think it should be necessary to clarify everything that might possibly offend. Might as well never step outside of your house.
posted by veronitron at 9:12 AM on March 19, 2005


Veronitron: IMO, there are some things that are so universially recognized as abhorrent that they deserve a warning when links to advocacy sites are posted. Nazism is one of them.

In addition, keep in mind that following (or posting!) the link in question may be illegal in some countries.

Also, to put another spin on things: advertising your affiliation as a Christian or a Jew is generally socially protected in the US, and perhaps in other countries (i.e., if someone attacks you because you've identified as such, there are hate-crimes laws that come into play. Also, in many cases, it is illegal to discriminate based on religion.). Identification as a nazi carries no such protections; in fact, under the right circumstances, this identification may be considered a hate crime in itself.

Nobody's talking about not publishing these links. All I'm (and others) are suggesting is that there be a warning when a non-obvious link to a site advocating genocide against a group (and denying that genocide ever existed in the first place) is posted. There was nothing in the link itself (heretical.com) to suggest that this was a Holocaust denier's site.

(p.s.: if you were a nazi offended by a Jewish site, then you would certainly be free to speak up and pull any site link referencing Jews into MeTa. I doubt (hope?), however, that you would not get a good reception here.)
posted by aberrant at 9:38 AM on March 19, 2005


I doubt (hope?), however, that you would not get a good reception here.

Er, apologies. Please parse so that abomination of a sentence makes sense. I haven't had my caffeine yet.
posted by aberrant at 9:43 AM on March 19, 2005


rel="nofollow" + NSFW.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 9:50 AM on March 19, 2005


I don't think it should be necessary to clarify everything that might possibly offend.

Nobody is arguing that it's necessary to clarify everything that might offend - that's a classic straw man argument. All people have suggested is that because unadvertised links to nazi sites do cause significant problems for people (illustrated on this thread) that it's helpful to let people know in advance about them. You may have no interest in being helpful to people about such issues. I do, because when such issues are handled with care they lead to better and more interesting discussions.
posted by Flitcraft at 9:51 AM on March 19, 2005


You can't understand the good without the bad.

Pretending that horrid sites like that don't exist by whitewashing the homepage will only serve to cause people to think that holocaust denial has gone away like a bad fad.

The occasional reminder that such ugliness exists is a necessary evil to keep people educated that such a dark side is still very active in the world.

That being said, yes, a simple NSFW tag would be fine. A nofollow link isn't necessary -- google *should* index everything, no matter how offensive it is. That way people looking for such content for educational purposes (such as this one) can find it. Others looking for it for offensive purposes aren't going to find a lack of a google link a barrier to entry.
posted by shepd at 11:09 AM on March 19, 2005


First, the story on fate of this family of talented short folk was not a Nazi document, it was an ordinary news story some Nazi put on his site -- which was not clearly labelled anything like "www.nazi.com" -- so said Nazi could add a stupid "disclaimer" at the end. The ensuing shitstorm illustrates why it might be prudent for somebody who finds an article on any such "disreputable" site to try to find another copy of it somewhere else before making the FPP.

Second:

> >Everyone should regard every MeFi link as potentially offensive. That is the nature of MeFi.

> So folks who read Mefi at work are just shit out of luck?

If you want to "surf the web" without your employer objecting, don't do it at work. How many employers list "unlimited web-surfing" as part of the benefits package anyway?

Third, I'm getting really tired of the doctrine that says that we have to treat the Shoah as qualitatively different and immeasurably worse than any other instance of genocide and/or mass murder (of which there have been more than anybody could count) and the Nazis as likewise worse than any other social group (political party, religion, whatever) that has advocated or done such things.

Fourth, if telling Kelly she's being oversensitive means that I'm at best "insensitive" and not anti-anti-semitic enough, then I expect an imediate public apology from every Mefite who's ever made an anti-hillbilly slur, with a solemn promise to never do it again -- and with the "sensitive" understanding that everybody who does not instantly hop all over anybody who makes anything like an anti-hillbilly remark or who links to any site that any hillbilly might find derisive to hillbillies is automatically tacitly admitting genocidal intentions towards non-rich non-Manhatten white people, regardless of whatever s/he thought s/he was saying. Furthermore, while we're at it, EVERYBODY should have their analgous sensitivities indulged under the same implications. Fair's fair, right? Why should kulaks, Khmers and Cimmerians be left out of the Sensitivity Shame-Fest?
posted by davy at 12:12 PM on March 19, 2005


shepd, I don't recall anyone advocating whitewashing. Agree wholeheartedly with the rest of your post.
posted by aberrant at 12:16 PM on March 19, 2005



I'm getting really tired of the doctrine that says that we have to treat the Shoah as qualitatively different and immeasurably worse than any other instance of genocide and/or mass murder (of which there have been more than anybody could count) and the Nazis as likewise worse than any other social group (political party, religion, whatever) that has advocated or done such things.


I'm getting really tired of folks who take umbrage at hillbilly jokes yet don't seem to grasp the offensiveness of Holocaust denial to those people directly affected by it.

Also: to what other genocide would you compare the Holocaust? There may be examples, but my guess is that they'd serve to confirm the horror of this particular episode, rather than dilute it.
posted by aberrant at 12:25 PM on March 19, 2005


aberrant : "to what other genocide would you compare the Holocaust?"

Cambodia. And I'm not sure what you mean by one genocide confirming the horror, or diluting the horror. Death is bad, killing is worse, mass killing is even worse. None of them "confirm" the others, because the others aren't in question. That's like saying "a lighter confirms that a match flame is hot"...what does that actually mean?
posted by Bugbread at 12:33 PM on March 19, 2005


Tag it and move on, I say.

that this was a reproduction of the article in full made this link perfectly valid, IMO.

shepd is right, ignoring the thing (Holocaust denial) isn't going to make it go away, and as for interpreting a link as directly supporting it, I don't buy it. if anything, I like the idea of making them pay for the extra bandwidth.

oh, and
MetaFilter: Naturally Offensive.
posted by Busithoth at 12:57 PM on March 19, 2005


aberrant : "to what other genocide would you compare the Holocaust?"

bugbread: Cambodia.

Also the Chukchi of Siberia and the Narragansett of New England. I'm sure three or four Mefites could make a list of dozens of comparisons to the Nazi Anti-Jewish Holocaust.

And speaking of the Holocaust, what about the Rroma ("Gypsies")?
posted by davy at 1:05 PM on March 19, 2005


Er...what about them?
posted by Bugbread at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2005


Other modern genocides are the one committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the one known as the Great Leap Forward by the Communist Party in China. There is a bit of a point about the Shoah. I know survivors or people who escaped from both of those Asian genocides, and it is unfortunate that the only genocide a lot of people know about is the Holocaust.

There were also Stalin's pogroms and the Armenian genocide...
posted by halonine at 2:35 PM on March 19, 2005


Hmm, sorry, I should have said, "the one committed as part of the Great Leap Forward."
posted by halonine at 2:36 PM on March 19, 2005


Hmm, sorry, I should have said, "the one committed as part of the Great Leap Forward."

Uh, why? What else did the Great Leap really accomplish?

Incidentally, I'd say Great Leap Famine denial is a bad as Holocaust denial, myself.
posted by davy at 3:36 PM on March 19, 2005


don't seem to grasp the offensiveness of Holocaust denial to those people directly affected by it.

Oh of course I grasp it. I also grasp that the Nazi Anti-Jewish (and Anti-Gay, Anti-Rroma, etc.) Holocaust is not the be-all and end-all of human social evil.

E.g., there are many Americans out there who would not think of minimizing any aspect of the Shoah who (to cop your rhetoric) still don't grasp the offensiveness of Black slavery denial to those people directly affected by it. For one thing, it's quite likely that there would be very few if any Black people in this "western" hemisphere if it were not for slavery, nor would would have a "race problem" were there no slavery here, nor would we in the U.S. have endured a civil war that killed (I've read) more Americans than were killed in all America's other wars combined without slavery. On a hemisphere-wide perspective I'm rather surprised that the sugar-growing regions still have so many people of African descent, because till the Brits illegalized the slave trade and put their navy to enforcing that it was cheaper to work slaves to death and replace them than to treat them half-decently.

"Also: to what other genocide would you compare the Holocaust?"

Oh please. The active part of the Nazi's holocaust lasted for four years; Black slavery in this hemisphere went on for four HUNDRED.

As to whether slavery was "genocide" or not, the purpose was not to make the planet "Negro-free", but the unless you're using an especially limited defintion of "genocide" I don't see how you can say that slavery had no genocidal effects. But then I don't much like the term "genocide" myself because it's too easy to get bogged down in arguments defining the term itself; "mass murder" is bad enough, whose horrors can be emphasized with simple qualifiers like "millions killed" or "the elimination of an entire nation". (Find a full-blooded Pequot, please.)
posted by davy at 4:08 PM on March 19, 2005


Hey Davy, glad you brought up slavery. Let's get back to the original reason for the callout: do you think it would be appropriate for someone to link to a pro-slavery site, or one advocating the killing of blacks, without a suitable disclaimer?
posted by aberrant at 4:28 PM on March 19, 2005


If you want to "surf the web" without your employer objecting, don't do it at work.

Yeah, well, fuck you, too. Really, that's what you're saying here, davy. Many, many people - perhaps even most of the folks who visit Mefi - surf the site at work. You demanding that reality just disappear is you being an idiot.
posted by mediareport at 9:29 PM on March 19, 2005


davy : "If you want to "surf the web" without your employer objecting, don't do it at work...I'm getting really tired of the doctrine that says that we have to treat the Shoah as qualitatively different and immeasurably worse than any other instance of genocide and/or mass murder"

If you want to avoid the doctrine, stop interacting with people.
posted by Bugbread at 2:39 AM on March 20, 2005


davy, your whole "the Shoah isn't any different from a whole lot of other bad things" is totally irrelevant to the discussion. No one claimed any such thing. The discussion about whether a holocaust revisionist site needs a warning has nothing to do with whether other bad things have happened in the world.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:24 AM on March 20, 2005


I like the idea of making them pay for the extra bandwidth.

Minor point, but many providers provide unlimited bandwidth for as little as $9.95 a month, so long as you're not illegally hosting tons of copyrighted movies and such.
posted by mediareport at 8:31 AM on March 20, 2005


You demanding that reality just disappear is you being an idiot.

People have been, advertantly or not, posting nsfw links without warnings for a long time. You know this, coming to Mefi. If you work in a place where this type of activity might get you fired, you are accepting that risk by clicking on links. The onus of responsibility towards your web browsing is on you.

It's not my job to make sure you don't get fired. It's my job to post links that I think are interesting. It is curteous of me to warn if I think something might offend but trying to shift the blame if I forget/neglect to is passing the buck.

Reading mefi at work is as valid a way as any to get here. I don't object to that; I do object, however, to the thought that your boss coming up to you for clicking on a link I posted is my fault.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 9:51 AM on March 20, 2005


I say this having had a boss come up to me for this exact reason. I've dealt with it.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 9:54 AM on March 20, 2005


Even with limited bandwidth, you can get something like 2 Gb per month for about $10. That means the page would have to be displayed 18,018 times just to reach the monthly cap.

dflemingdotorg : "trying to shift the blame if I forget/neglect to is passing the buck."

Er...no, trying to shift the blame if you forget is passing the buck. Placing the blame on you for neglect, however, is placing the buck where it belongs.
posted by Bugbread at 10:06 AM on March 20, 2005


Community, dflemingdotorg. Look it up. Since it's obvious that much of what makes MeFi so fascinating occurs on work time, someone who cares even a tiny bit about the larger community here should see the obvious benefit to putting a simple four-letter flag up so that folks are able to avoid doing something that might bring serious trouble down on their head (as opposed to the much less serious trouble that comes from surfing between tasks at work). The point you're somehow missing is that an inadvertent visit to a hate and/or porn site can be just the thing that *alerts* the boss to what you're doing. Why wouldn't you want to offer that kind of basic assistance to a fellow member of a site you like?

It's odd that you see chipping in to make everyone's life smoother as some sort of chore that involves blame. What's up with that? Tagging nude and hate sites is quick and easy convention that demonstrates you care about the site at least a little. Why on earth would that be a problem for you?
posted by mediareport at 10:10 AM on March 20, 2005


Mediareport, what's "up with that" is you missing what I was saying. In no way do I think the nsfw tag is a bad thing or that it's a chore. If, in the future, I post a link that I think might offend, I'll say so.

I just think that trying to figure out what is/isn't offensive to the community as a whole is close to impossible. I'm not offended by much. I've had employers who were offended by me clicking on an article that talked about sex while at work. I think it's a stupid policy but hey, I'm not the one writing the checks in that situation.

Hate and nude sites are cut and dry. I don't think anyone here objects to that. Where does the line stop, though? Mcgraw's awesome, cryptic posts are a perfect example of how a link could sneak up on you that maybe Mcgraw didn't think was offensive but was to your employer. He can't be held responsible for that.

Knowingly posting goatse without a nsfw tag is a different thing. That's just a bad community member. It's the gray area that becomes a bit of trouble.

I think the line stops with you. Part of being in this community is knowing what you can and can't do based on your employer's rules. If there's a chance that one hit to a pro-nazi website is going to get you fired (that you can't explain your way out of; that it was an honest mistake), why are you even taking that chance?

There's a chance, a very good one, that this is going to come up again on Mefi. If you go in knowing this and still want to browse Mefi, you accept the consequences. Noone's forcing this content on you at work. I would hate to see anyone get fired for reading Mefi but I wouldn't be quick to blame the person who didn't think it was offensive to post the link without a nsfw tag.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 10:38 AM on March 20, 2005


dflemingdotorg : "but I wouldn't be quick to blame the person who didn't think it was offensive to post the link without a nsfw tag."

Dglemingdotorg, I understand what you're saying, but has anyone actually blamed gregb1007?

From what I can see, folks have posted that gregb1007 should have tagged it. gregb1007 put forth his reasons, and apologized for the confusion. Then a bunch of other folks started arguing that it shouldn't be tagged, and that folks supporting tagging were being too sensitive, and the disagreement (the only disagreement, really, as gregb1007 and the tag supporters were in agreement) was about whether requesting tags was excessive or not.

I'm pretty neutral on the issue, but I may be reading it wrong. But from what I can see, folks aren't putting the blame on gregb1007.
posted by Bugbread at 10:50 AM on March 20, 2005


You're right bugbread; having re-read the thread and this one, my initial impression was incorrect. Thank you for making me go back and check : )
posted by dflemingdotorg at 11:00 AM on March 20, 2005



If there's a chance that one hit to a pro-nazi website is going to get you fired (that you can't explain your way out of; that it was an honest mistake), why are you even taking that chance?


Dflemingdotorg, the "I'll get fired" argument was a straw-man argument put forth by folks who wanted to argue that the link needed no tag. If you re-read the original comments (both in the blue and here), it's not about what's appropriate for work. It's about not wanting to lend any credence to these sites by sending traffic their way, and not wanting to (unintentionally, as it turns out) direct users to a hate site espousing a belief that most people find offensive.

Frankly, I'm left shaking my head that this issue is causing so much controversy. Mefites are so quick to condemn "boyzone"ness, perceived slights to sexual orientation and ruralness, exposure to boobies and tv/tg pictures, and so many other things that, in comparison to the Holocaust, matter not a whit, that the fact that we're debating whether a link to a hate site -- one that rejoices in the slaughter of over 6 million people at the same time denying that it ever occurred -- should be tagged with a warning is simply ludicrous.

I sincerely hope that davy and the others trying to justify why no warning is needed (and recall that the original poster even admitted that it did) don't reflect the overall mefi pov. I'd have to rethink my reasons for being a member and whether I wish to be associated with folks who make a big deal out of boobies but dismiss the Shoah with the argument that "other atrocities are worse".
posted by aberrant at 11:39 AM on March 20, 2005


I personally don't get it either, though. I have no problem with the idea of tagging those sites, and I'll do it (in the unlikely event that I make a post related to neonazism), but I don't understand why something should be tagged just because most people disagree with it.

Rephrased: I find holocaust revisionists offensive. Does that mean a page about holocaust revision should be marked "potentially offensive"? Or only when the page supports holocaust revisionism? I find Scientology offensive, but should I mark xenu.net (a site dedicated to exposing the underbelly of scientology) as "potentially offensive"?

I'm not trying to be snarky, and I'm fine with the concept of marking things. And, to be honest, I know the answers to my questions above. But I don't really understand why a site supporting something offensive should be marked as "offensive" while a site that opposes it would not be marked "offensive".

The "it boosts their stats and Google rank" argument makes a lot more sense to me.
posted by Bugbread at 11:50 AM on March 20, 2005


I say we ban them all.
posted by graventy at 12:00 PM on March 20, 2005


Ban who/what all?
posted by Bugbread at 12:02 PM on March 20, 2005


The link should have just been marked NSFW for the reasons mediareport cites but greg was pretty clear on it having been an accident. That having been said, since we have an interesting thread going here and the main topic seems to have been decided we might as well spend some time clearing up some historical misconceptions.

davy wrote:
And speaking of the Holocaust, what about the Rroma ("Gypsies")?

bugbread wrote:
Er...what about them?

Ouch. OK, my understanding was that roughly as many homosexuals/gypsies were killed as Jews, but Wikipedia tells me it was in fact probably more.

Wikipedia writes:
. . . the phrase 'six million' is now almost universally interpreted as referring to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, though estimates by historians of the exact number range from five million to over six and a half million. Other groups deemed "undesirable", especially Poles, Slavs, Romany, the disabled (mentally and/or physically) and gay men, were also persecuted and murdered, and taking these other groups all into account, the total death toll rises considerably. The estimates for these victims are unclear due to the lack of records and the political nature of inclusion-exclusion of non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust. However, to give one an idea of the figures, estimates range from five million to up to 26 million.

You don't see amberglow go into a frothing fit every time the Holocaust is brought up and only Jews are mentioned, despite him certainly having just cause to.

aberrant:
"to what other genocide would you compare the Holocaust?"

Double-ouch. Let's start off with the Stalinist purges.

Wikipedia writes:
By the MVD estimates carried out by the order of a special commission of the Communist Party in preparation to the 20th Party Congress, at least 681,692 people were executed during 1937–38 alone, and only accounting for the execution lists signed personally by Stalin from archives of NKVD. The exact total number of persons affected remains uncertain and depends on how the count is made, especially depending on the time period considered and whether deaths related to the Gulag and transportation losses are included.

One of Russia's leading human rights groups, the Memorial Society, has released a list of 1,345,796 names of people who fell victim to Stalin's purges.


Wikipedia also writes:
It is generally agreed by historians that if famines, prison and labour camp mortality, and state terrorism (deportations and political purges) are taken into account, Stalin and his colleagues were directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions. How many millions died under Stalin is greatly disputed. Although no official figures have been released by the Soviet or Russian governments, most estimates put the figure between 8 and 20 million.

Next question: are there any historical revisionists denying Stalin's purges?

Wikipedia writes:
Some authors, such as Ludo Martens, maintain that the scope of the purges was greatly exaggerated and the purges themselves were a necessary means of struggle against political enemies at that time. They claim that the prevailing point of view on the purges is the result of the coincidence of the interests of the post-Stalin Soviet and Western politicians and historians: the goal of the former (Nikita Khrushchev in particular, who initiated "destalinisation") was to discredit Stalinist opposition, while the goal of the latter was to discredit the Soviet Union as a whole

Next we'll tackle Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward.

Wikipedia writes:
The Great Leap Forward is now widely seen both within China and outside as a major economic disaster. As inflated statistics reached planning authorities, orders were given to divert human resources into industry rather than agriculture. Various Western and Eastern sources put the death toll at about 20 million people, with majority of the deaths owed to starvation. It is believed by some to have been the greatest famine in history. The deaths suffered by China as a result of this program, distinguish Mao as the dictator who killed the greatest number of his own countrymen, surpassing Stalin.

Let's next look at the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Wikipedia writes:
However during the rule of the Khmer Rouge, approximately 1.7 million people were killed, or one-fifth of the country's population at the time. The Killing Fields shocked journalists and commentators in Western countries, and the government was accused of autogenocide. In addition to deaths from work exhaustion and starvation, the regime set out to kill anyone suspected of connections with the former government, as well as professionals, intellectuals (Pol Pot defined anyone who wore glasses as automatically an intellectual) and ethnic Vietnamese.

Next let's look at the genocide in Rwanda a decade ago:

Wikipedia writes:
The Rwandan Genocide was the organized murder of up to one million Rwandans in 1994. It is commonly portrayed as an eruption of ethnic conflict in which militas of the Hutu ethnic majority, with the connivance of the Hutu-dominated government, attempted to carry out an ethnic cleansing of the minority Tutsis, and of Hutu moderates who opposed the genocide.

Even *I* didn't know about the Armenian Genocide until this thread.

Wikipedia writes:
the Armenians living in the eastern Anatolia (referred by the Armenians as "Western Armenia") were massively massacred in the final years of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. As a result, today Armenians accuse Turkey of perpetrating the Armenian Genocide in 1915-1923 during which about 1.6 million Armenians were killed. These massacres and killings by Ottoman Turks and Kurds are commonly referred to as Great Armenian Genocide, and traditionally have been commemorated world-wide on April 24th.

Let's not forget Nixon's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's (whom Bush initially attempted to appoint as head of the 9/11 commision) involvement in the slaughter of 200,000 East Timorese:

Wikipedia write:
Documents released in late 2001 regarding East Timor revealed that Kissinger had given Suharto support for the invasion of East Timor (in which as many as 200,000 people may have died) during a visit to Indonesia in 1975, refuting his claim in a 1999 interview that he had not discussed the matter in advance and only found out about it as he was leaving the country. Although it was illegal for the arms that the US supplied to Indonesia to be used for offensive purposes, the documents revealed that Kissinger was unconcerned over the illegality of their use; his primary concern was over manipulating the public perception of what happened. "We would be able to influence the reaction in America if whatever happens, happens after we return", he was quoted as saying.

aberrant writes:
I'd have to rethink my reasons for being a member and whether I wish to be associated with folks who make a big deal out of boobies but dismiss the Shoah with the argument that "other atrocities are worse".

That's a complete strawman. My reason for all of the above is not - and I doubt anybody in this thread's reason - to dismiss the Shoah, or to insist that one genocide is worse than the other in a penis-measuring contest of death toll. They are all universally horrible. While your question as to what historical genocide was comprable may have been an honest query, the tone suggested that you believed that there was at no point in history any genocide comprable to the Jews during the Holocaust, which seems a little offensive.

What also concerns me is how little people seem to recognize any of the others. One cannot possibly avoid intricate knowledge of the Holocaust while living in modern society, yet the others (except perhaps Rwanda) get little if any press. Something's wrong with that.
posted by Ryvar at 12:02 PM on March 20, 2005



That's a complete strawman. My reason for all of the above is not - and I doubt anybody in this thread's reason - to dismiss the Shoah, or to insist that one genocide is worse than the other in a penis-measuring contest of death toll. They are all universally horrible. While your question as to what historical genocide was comprable may have been an honest query, the tone suggested that you believed that there was at no point in history any genocide comprable to the Jews during the Holocaust, which seems a little offensive.


1) it wasn't intended to be a strawman. It was prompted by bugbread's apparent comparison of death by number of victims to degrees of "badness".

2) You misread or misunderstood what I wrote, then. What I was trying to say was that, given the number of atrocities that are universally condemned, if you rank the Holocaust among them, you implicitly acknowledge its horror. Stalin's purges are a good example. It is unfathomable to me that someone could hold that up as an example of a major atrocity that is not on par with the Holocaust. And my point is that the equivalence is reciprocal.
posted by aberrant at 12:16 PM on March 20, 2005


One other I missed was Ghenghis Khan's conquest of Asia. I've read extensively on the subject, and most sources have put the estimate between 10 and (in two rather high estimates) 130 million people killed. Based on what I've read, I'd peg it at about 50 million.

Wikipedia writes:
Also not to deny, Genghis Khan's waging of war was characterized by wholesale destruction on unprecedented scale and radically changed the demographic situation in Asia. According to the works of Iranian historian Rashid-ad-Din Fadl Allah, Mongols killed over 70,000 people in Merv and more than a million in Nishapur. China suffered a drastic decline in population. Before the Mongol invasion, China had about 100 million inhabitants; after the complete conquest in 1279, the census in 1300 showed it to have roughly 60 million people. This does not, of course, mean that Genghis Khan's men were directly responsible for the deaths of 40 million people but it does give a sense of the ferocity of the onslaught.
posted by Ryvar at 12:18 PM on March 20, 2005


davy wrote:
"And speaking of the Holocaust, what about the Rroma ('Gypsies')?"

bugbread wrote:
"Er...what about them?"

Ryvar wrote:
"Ouch."


Ouch? Er, I think you may have misunderstood me. I know about the quantity of Romany killed (not exact numbers, of course), I just didn't know what he was saying about them. It's like someone writing a post about ice cream, and then someone saying "what about neapolitan?"...well, what about it?

I'm still not sure what it was that davy was trying to say there.

aberrant : "It was prompted by bugbread's apparent comparison of death by number of victims to degrees of 'badness'."

Wha?!?! Someone asked what other mass murders were comparable to the Holocaust. I offered Cambodia, and then said:

bugbread : "And I'm not sure what you mean by one genocide confirming the horror, or diluting the horror. Death is bad, killing is worse, mass killing is even worse. None of them 'confirm' the others, because the others aren't in question. That's like saying 'a lighter confirms that a match flame is hot'...what does that actually mean?"

If you interpret my broad categories (death, killing, and mass murder) as indicating degree of badness, then, well, yeah. A guy at my university got killed, but I think the Holocaust was worse than that. But that's about the degree of it. In any practical way, I'm opposing comparing number of victims to degrees of badness.

And considering that you said "I'd have to rethink my reasons for being a member and whether I wish to be associated with folks who make a big deal out of boobies but dismiss the Shoah with the argument that "other atrocities are worse".":

Well, if that was aimed at me: I don't make a big deal out of boobies, nor do I dismiss the Shoah with the argument that "other atrocities are worse". I have no idea where those two came from.
posted by Bugbread at 12:33 PM on March 20, 2005


Bugbread: the last comment was not directed at you, specifically. Part of it was directed towards Davy, who complained that he takes offense to hillbilly jokes, and to those folks who made a big deal over the events I mentioned but are "neutral" or "on the fence" about this one. If the shoe fits, great, but I wasn't singling you out.
posted by aberrant at 12:43 PM on March 20, 2005


Ah, ok. I think something got lost in the conversation, because if you put the quote tree back together, you get:

aberrant writes:"I'd have to rethink my reasons for being a member and whether I wish to be associated with folks who make a big deal out of boobies but dismiss the Shoah with the argument that 'other atrocities are worse'."

Ryvar writes: "That's a complete strawman...."

aberrant writes: "1) it wasn't intended to be a strawman. It was prompted by bugbread's apparent comparison of death by number of victims to degrees of 'badness'."

So I thought it was directed at me.
posted by Bugbread at 12:49 PM on March 20, 2005


Ban who/what all?

You all. You, the post maker, Ryvar for that long-ass wikipedia thing. The banhammer demands blood!
posted by graventy at 4:08 PM on March 20, 2005


Blood for the Ban Hammer!
Skulls for the Skull Throne!
posted by Bugbread at 4:20 PM on March 20, 2005


This "Ban Hammer" bullshit really annoys the fuck out of me, to be honest, regardless of what you think about my comment. It's an expression that exults in authoritarianism, painting it as something humorous. It seems to be an extension of the growing American obsession with and love of fascism.

Yes, yes, I don't have a sense of humor blah blah blah . . . I've found the use of the phrase to be an excellent indicator of outrageous ignorance and a childlike need for handholding and censorship.
posted by Ryvar at 4:35 PM on March 20, 2005


lighten up, Francis^H^H^H^H^H^H^HRyvar
posted by aberrant at 5:20 PM on March 20, 2005


That kind of talk will get you banhammered, Ryvar.

:)
posted by graventy at 7:34 PM on March 20, 2005


« Older Is there need for a reasonable...  |  Polling the membership to see ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments