What is the policy on linkage to hate sites? February 9, 2007 7:24 PM   Subscribe

What is the policy on linkage to hate sites?

For example, in this post.
posted by b1tr0t to MetaFilter-Related at 7:24 PM (87 comments total)

I havn't clicked on the offending link, so I have no opinion as to whether the site is a hate site. However, if it is a hate site, then it is both relevant to the post, and not deserving of our clicks. If it isn't a hate site, then it probably isn't relevant and should be deleted anyway.

What is the MeFi policy here?
posted by b1tr0t at 7:27 PM on February 9, 2007


We generally delete the hate-site link (this has been done with David Irving's site, among others), which is why I mentioned it on the thread. At the very least, linking to the Google cache or some other source that quotes the post would definitely be preferrable.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:30 PM on February 9, 2007


Oh, and by "we" I mean either Jess or Matt, and by "link" I mean the just the hyperlink, not the whole FPP.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:31 PM on February 9, 2007


I once unwittingly included a link to a hate site (coincidentally a holocaust denial site as well) a while ago. Jess gladly removed the link. It was a secondary link though, not very instrumental to the rest of the story. Not sure how this relates to common practice though.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:32 PM on February 9, 2007


It wouldn't load for me. There's no google or archive.org cache. Doesn't look like coral has one either. I'd like the link if it can be replaced with something that quotes it or something. But I doubt that is possible.
posted by bob sarabia at 7:33 PM on February 9, 2007


I'd like the link removed, that is.
posted by bob sarabia at 7:34 PM on February 9, 2007


Just a warning would be fine, really, even if it's a hate site, because if it's actually a claim of responsibility from the attacker (like the post implies it is), that probably counts as news value worth linking. Some sort of "[link to racist site]" should be enough in that case.
posted by mediareport at 7:40 PM on February 9, 2007


I'm guessing since Matt was the second commenter in the thread (and quoted the linked site, to boot) that it's going to stay.

But I could be wrong.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:41 PM on February 9, 2007


Yeah, that link really makes the post. What's so bad about reading relevant (odious) info from a site run by badguys? I can't imagine the margin of ad revenue over bandwidth costs is much, especially if no one clicks through their racist Google ads or gives them a Paypal donation.
posted by grobstein at 7:43 PM on February 9, 2007


I'm a little surprised by this. What again are the implications of allowing this link to stay up, and allowing people to click through? Can somebody explain that aspect to me?

Having asked this, I do feel that some modicum of warning be given to the reader, such as "possible racist site".
posted by phaedon at 7:44 PM on February 9, 2007


Could we have a nofollow at least?
posted by atrazine at 7:48 PM on February 9, 2007


Copy-paste: "If you wanted to modify the FPP with a warning about that link, that seems more appropriate, like a NSFW warning, and it might be important to do so for people at work who's internet access is monitored."
posted by bhouston at 7:54 PM on February 9, 2007


This has come up here multiple times in the past. About a year ago, Matt did delete a link to a revisionist site; here's his explanation.
posted by mediareport at 7:54 PM on February 9, 2007


I do feel that some modicum of warning be given to the reader, such as "possible racist site".

yes. because the tender sensibilities of your typical fisting site viewer must be protected from a potential encounter with textual representations of fringe ideology.
posted by quonsar at 8:01 PM on February 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


What frustrates me right now is the fact that you'd call out a post you admit to never seeing in the first place. What is wrong with you?

Next week, I'm calling out mathowie for kicking stray dogs. I've never seen him do it, but I'm interested in polling MetaTalk participants as a preventitive measure.

There's enough bad shit on the blue already. I don't really think preventive MeTa threads are all that useful.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:05 PM on February 9, 2007


I do feel that some modicum of warning be given to the reader, such as "possible racist site".
yes. because the tender sensibilities of your typical fisting site viewer must be protected from a potential encounter with textual representations of fringe ideology.


Or you work somewhere that logs web surfing, and for you a hate site is possibly just as NSFW as pr0n. That suggests a NSFW, but since that's typically assumed to be pr0n perhaps NSFW (possible hate site) might work.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't want people at work thinking I visit holocaust denier sites. Or, for that matter, my wife at home.
posted by davejay at 8:10 PM on February 9, 2007


Yeah, that link really makes the post. What's so bad about reading relevant (odious) info from a site run by badguys?

Exactly. NSFW warning would be appropriate, but banning the links? No, it's an important part of the post. Let's not get superstitous here. It's not like the loony ideas are are going to leap in and possess your mind or something.
posted by jonmc at 8:17 PM on February 9, 2007


What frustrates me right now is the fact that you'd call out a post you admit to never seeing in the first place. What is wrong with you?

I'm not demanding that the link be taken down - I'm interested in the discussion of whether it should be taken down. This is a derail appropriate for MeTa, so I posted it here.

As far as the internet goes, I'm happy to see these guys stay up. They provide a nice demonstration of how crazy their ideas are. How metafilter itself reacts is more interesting.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:28 PM on February 9, 2007


So you read about how a Holocaust denier was taking credit for attacking Eli Weisel and you thought the link on "someone is taking credit for the attack" would be to, what, a group photoblog about gummi bears?
posted by Tuwa at 8:41 PM on February 9, 2007


I always thought the delinking was to prevent the Google ranking of the site from going up, causing it to show up in search results higher.
posted by Bugbread at 8:41 PM on February 9, 2007


I wish this place was still small, so that these types of discussion could exist and be potentially meaningful. Anymore, I think that as more and more people flood this place, just trying to keep it intelligible and civil is all we can hope for. Meh, maybe I've given up a bit, but I think that trying to "polish" this place is silly when what's really needed is some belt sanding.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:42 PM on February 9, 2007


Tuwa : "So you read about how a Holocaust denier was taking credit for attacking Eli Weisel and you thought the link on 'someone is taking credit for the attack' would be to, what, a group photoblog about gummi bears?"

I would have assumed it would be to something like CNN, BBC, etc.
posted by Bugbread at 8:42 PM on February 9, 2007


what's really needed is some belt sanding.

Which, BTW, is how AskMeFi is run, and why I like it so much.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:43 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm just a cynic, then; my first thought was "and here's the idiot taking credit for it ... yep."

Maybe we can post the CNN link in a week or two, with a pretty picture of someone in handcuffs.
posted by Tuwa at 9:00 PM on February 9, 2007


That link is not so bad; it just really points out the insanity of this holocaust denier. Sometimes the best way to fight hate is to show all of its warts. I am not even sure that it isn't safe for work, unless they already suspect you of being some sort of deviant hate monger.
posted by caddis at 9:00 PM on February 9, 2007


We usually delete links to hate sites, and usually for the reasons of not giving them links and traffic and not spreading their awful ideas. I actually installed a browser plugin that did auto-lookups of pages in the Google cache, hoping I could find this page in Google's cache so I could remove the link, but it's not there and not available anywhere else.

Since it's pretty central to the story, it kinda has to stay, even though it's a anti-semitic site. I'll add a nofollow to it though.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:25 PM on February 9, 2007


seems reasonable
posted by b1tr0t at 9:30 PM on February 9, 2007


b1tr0t IS SATISFIED
posted by dorisfromregopark at 9:35 PM on February 9, 2007


Maybe it's just me, but I don't want people at work thinking I visit holocaust denier sites. Or, for that matter, my wife at home.

Your wife monitors your email traffic? And you can't explain to her how you came to visit that site? Ouch.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:46 PM on February 9, 2007


We generally delete the hate-site link (this has been done with David Irving's site, among others)

Point of contention: David Irving's site wasn't a hate site. It would likely fall under the heading of revisionism. There is a significant difference.

And, not that anyone cares, but I think deleting links to controversial sites is terrible, terrible policy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:01 PM on February 9, 2007


You can't just ban the sites, unfortunately. People should read this stuff, and they should get angry about it. Just use that anger constructively. There's a reason free speech works both ways.

Free speech for the dumb!
posted by Eideteker at 10:16 PM on February 9, 2007


It would be great if somebody could correct that first sentence. "Intenton" needs a space, and it should probably be "to confess".

Two or three sentences would be clearer still :P
posted by Chuckles at 11:04 PM on February 9, 2007


davejay : "Maybe it's just me, but I don't want people at work thinking I visit holocaust denier sites. Or, for that matter, my wife at home."

JohnnyGunn : "Your wife monitors your email traffic? And you can't explain to her how you came to visit that site? Ouch."

Nonono, he doesn't want people at work to think that he visits holocaust denier sites, or that he visits his wife at home.
posted by Bugbread at 11:08 PM on February 9, 2007



Nonono, he doesn't want people at work to think that he visits holocaust denier sites, or that he visits his wife at home.


That's how I read it.

davejay: I realize that heterosexuals have taken quite a bad rap recently, but stay proud, man, stay proud.
posted by tkolar at 12:07 AM on February 10, 2007


What is the policy on linkage to hate sites ?

Aren't we one ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:16 AM on February 10, 2007


mathowie: We usually delete links to hate sites, and usually for the reasons of not giving them links and traffic and not spreading their awful ideas.

Eideteker: There's a reason free speech works both ways.

amen. great leader is out of touch, having fallen into the trap of "in order to obliterate evil we must behave evilly". he's in good company though, with the likes of dirtynumbangelboy and, well, dubyuh. Eideteker for President!
posted by quonsar at 5:33 AM on February 10, 2007


extremism? On the internets?

Yeah, if you only agree with it, it ain't free speech.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:38 AM on February 10, 2007


I don't think links to hate sites should be banned; if they're necessary to the discussion, they should stay. I'm unclear as to the necessity in this case because the first link (to the news story) said:
In a posting Tuesday on the anti-Zionist Web site ZioPedia, a writer using the name Eric Hunt takes credit for the attack: “After ensuring no women would be traumatized by what I had to do (I had been trailing Wiesel for weeks), I stopped the elevator at the sixth floor. I pulled Wiesel out of the elevator. I said I wanted to interview him.”
Does the actual ZioPedia link add anything meaningful to that? (I didn't click on it.) If not, why is it such a necessary addition to the post?
posted by languagehat at 6:43 AM on February 10, 2007


I would prefer if the link came with a warning. I realize it's ultimately my responsibility to check the URL before clicking, but I woke up blearily on a Saturday morning and clicked it, thinking it would be a link to another news article. I was dismayed to see that I had unintentionally visited a hate site.

I don't think the links should be banned, but a warning would be appropriate. What is the rationale against a warning? The only rationale I can think of is the "you should have checked the URL before clicking". I should have. But we basically trust this site, and it's considerate to give a warning before embedding a link to a site which celebrates the attack of a great man and denies the murder of millions of people.
posted by aliksd at 7:00 AM on February 10, 2007


I did click on the link and I am now convinced that there was no Holocaust.
posted by MrMustard at 7:02 AM on February 10, 2007


Point of contention: David Irving's site wasn't a hate site. It would likely fall under the heading of revisionism. There is a significant difference.

Because revisionist don't hate the Jews, they just really really love pretending the Holocaust never happened.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:13 AM on February 10, 2007


amen. great leader is out of touch, having fallen into the trap of "in order to obliterate evil we must behave evilly".

This is disingenuous. Of course there are limits to free speech. Free speech, as a right, was derived from two liberal* assumptions about the governance of society: that society operates as a number of self-regulating spheres (i.e. Free Market), and that the government's purpose is to improve the lives of its citizens.

Free speech is a mechanism for promoting the self-regulation of political and social spheres: basically it creates a free-market of ideas for governance and social organization. It also adheres to the principle that individual actions should be free from government interference as much as possible.

However, there are obviously boundaries to free speech, because the political philosophy on which it is based has two aspects that come into conflict at certain points: individual liberty and the improvement/protection of society.

The important question is where do these boundaries lie? The demarcation depends on the community. In my understanding, the US government has made certain speech illegal: yelling fire in a crowd, uttering death threats. In Canada, the boundary has been expanded to include hate speech.

Thinking through how these boundaries are managed on metafilter, with open discussion about pros, cons, and potential solutions, is the best kind of free speech.


*Liberal in the original sense
posted by carmen at 7:36 AM on February 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or you work somewhere that logs web surfing, and for you a hate site is possibly just as NSFW as pr0n. That suggests a NSFW, but since that's typically assumed to be pr0n perhaps NSFW (possible hate site) might work.

Of course, there's an easy solution to ever visiting NSFW sites. Perhaps not going to MeFi and/or clicking the links here?
I feel no sympathy whatsoever when people complain about possibly visiting NSFW links from MeFi while at work. The issue is easily remedied on your end.
posted by jmd82 at 8:21 AM on February 10, 2007


Because revisionist don't hate the Jews, they just really really love pretending the Holocaust never happened.

Because disbelief always equals hate. Always.

Do your eyes hurt walking around with everything all black and white?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:29 AM on February 10, 2007


Sweet! Let's have another NSFW thread! I'll start!

I WORK FOR A NANNY COMPANY AND I GET FIRED IF I LOOK AT PORN. ADDING NSFW TO YOUR NSFW LINKS IS NOT DIFFICULT. IT IS COMMON COURTESY. ALSO I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME AT WORK TO PARTICIPATE IN INTERNET ARGUMENTS.

OH YEAH KWINE, I REFUSE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT YOU LOOK AT ON YOUR JOB. THOSE FOUR EXTRA CHARACTERS ARE TOO MUCH TO TYPE. YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE UNSAFE LINKS? UNPLUG YOUR COMPUTER, SET IT ON FIRE, AND SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FACE.

OH YEAH KWINE AND KWINE, I AM A THIRD PERSON WHO LIVES OVER IN ENGLAND AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY THAT AMERICANS ARE RIDICULOUS PURITANS.

There, that should do it!
posted by Kwine at 9:48 AM on February 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Because disbelief always equals hate.

If they were serious historians with something to say about events under the Nazi regime, they'd publish and debate within the wider academic community, and take their knocks.
Once you start having to create a little club for you and your swivel-eyed chums to swap your fairy stories in, safe from the cruel mockery of grown-ups, you're into the la-la land of the hate merchants.
posted by Abiezer at 10:07 AM on February 10, 2007


Abiezer, Irving used to do that, before he was banned from speaking in Germany, then Canada.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:21 AM on February 10, 2007


I'm not so het up over either the link being there or being removed. Kinda reminds me of the OJ book. Which sounds interesting: a dude who was exonerated confesses in an imaginary recreation of the crime? That's dope. Sure, he's doing it to make money for his legal fund, that's why I'd do my best to have my library buy one copy for the hundreds of patrons, like me, who are interested in seeing a man hoist by his own petard.

I don't know that it's a perfect parallel for the situation here, but plenty of so-called "hate speech" gets banged around in comments here. Usually folks use those comments to decide who they think is a fool or a lunatic or an asshole.

Though if neo-Nazis stand to gain from clicks, the link oughtta tell us so. "Hate sites" and "hate speech" are funny designators, though. I imagine a link to a Coulter blog makes her a little money per click, or an Al Jazeera click, or a Liberty College click. The list goes on, and it depends an awful lot on the audience.

I'm not saying anything new here.
posted by breezeway at 10:50 AM on February 10, 2007


Not quite how I understand it, Civil_Disobedient. Earlier works like Hitler's War garnered some praise, but even then he was obviously tendentious, and he seems to have become ever more out there as his career progressed.
He started fronting explicitly revisionist organisations and himself moving away from the academic mainstream long before he was actually excluded.
I might be wrong in his specific case, I'm not a reader of his, but certainly the tenor of his humour and the rest leaves me confident that revisionism at the level he engages in is fuelled by something more than a quest for truth.
posted by Abiezer at 11:16 AM on February 10, 2007


Hitler only had one ball.
And it was very small.
That explains it then.
posted by econous at 11:41 AM on February 10, 2007


Civil_Disobedient: Abiezer, Irving used to do that, before he was banned from speaking in Germany, then Canada.


Eh, you've picked a bad Holocaust denier to defend. Abiezer is right: Irving was speaking to far-right German groups and joined the Institute for Historical Review in the 1980s; and was actively arguing that the Holocaust did not happen, and there were no gas chambers, during the 1988 Zundel trial. He was only banned from Germany and Canada in the early 1990s. His famous court case against Lipstadt only happened in 1996.

Besides, as it turned out, Irving used documents he knew were forged, as well as hiding evidence that he didn't agree with, when writing his books.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:09 PM on February 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Free speech, as a right, was derived from two liberal assumptions about the governance of society the fact that we, as human beings, have certain unalienable rights that thugs have been taking away from us for millennia but that the Founding Fathers recognized and provided for.

There, fixed that for you.

Thinking through how these boundaries are managed on metafilter, with open discussion about pros, cons, and potential solutions, is the best kind of free speech.


Yeah, and if Matt said "Sorry, you can't talk about that," it wouldn't be any kind of free speech.
posted by languagehat at 12:09 PM on February 10, 2007


unalienable...?

How can you have an unalienable rights taken away?
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:19 PM on February 10, 2007


Because disbelief always equals hate. Always.

Are you even familiar with Holocaust denial?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:30 PM on February 10, 2007


How can you have an unalienable rights taken away?

Good point; my phrasing suffered from my outrage. I should have said "that thugs have been preventing us from exercising for millennia."
posted by languagehat at 12:37 PM on February 10, 2007


sorry... it's an old Burke joke and I couldn't resist. :-)
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:41 PM on February 10, 2007


languagehat: that the Founding Fathers recognized and provided for.

Indeed. And they came to that recognition through a liberal philosophy that said, among other things, that governments shouldn't interfere to closely with individuals and that governments should provide for the improvement/protection of the lives of their citizens. These tennets come into conflict when individuals want to hurt each other or society. This doesn't seem like it should be an outrage-provoking statement. I'm sorry.


Yeah, and if Matt said "Sorry, you can't talk about that," it wouldn't be any kind of free speech.

He didn't say anything like that. He said "We usually delete links to hate sites, and usually for the reasons of not giving them links and traffic and not spreading their awful ideas."

Quonsar called this behaving evilly.

Matt was talking about the conundrum that hate sites cause for metafilter, and how he has typically addressed them. The comment seemed to me to invite discussion on possible solutions, as well as leave open the possibility that in some cases the value of linking to a site outweighs the harm.

Calling his actions "evil" shuts down the space for dialog and assumes that there is a straightforward answer to something that is not, in fact, very straightforward, and which could benefit from reasoned discourse and a free exchange of ideas. I made my historical reference to point out that the grey area we are discussing is inherent to the very notion of free speech, not to suggest that free speech is not an excellent tool of a free society. (I also think that the notion of self-regulation applies to metafilter really well, so on that level, I just found it interesting.)

Once again, sorry for contributing to outrage. It was not my intent.
posted by carmen at 1:26 PM on February 10, 2007


What do we do about hate sites?
<drum roll please>
We hates them.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:10 PM on February 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Quonsar called this behaving evilly.

evil is way too strong a word ... i'd call matt's policy a well-intentioned one that probably accomplishes more for his self-image than it does for the actual issue involved

symbolic gestures tend to be like that
posted by pyramid termite at 3:33 PM on February 10, 2007


Yeah, and if Matt said "Sorry, you can't talk about that," it wouldn't be any kind of free speech.
He didn't say anything like that.


Of course he didn't! That's why I used the conditional! "If Matt said... it wouldn't be..." Sheesh, can't anybody read around here? That said, I'm sorry you took my outrage as directed at you; it wasn't, it was aroused by the thought of restrictions on speech. I was quoting you because you provided a formulation I disagreed with, but I meant nothing personal. I happen to be a free speech absolutist, so I get outraged a lot. (And Matt is, of course, free to set the balance wherever he likes—this is his site, not a governmental entity.)
posted by languagehat at 3:47 PM on February 10, 2007


Eh, you've picked a bad Holocaust denier to defend.

I was defending the right to link to him, not his particular thoughts on the subject. Please get that straight.

Irving may be a thorn in the side of modern-day historians, but he has not to my knowledge ever espoused hatred of the Jewish people. His knowledge of the second war is unparalleled. Unfortunately, somewhere after about 1975 he started seeing the financial returns of best-seller "shock value" history and became a superannuated ass and tireless self-supporter. And I think all those personal interviews with the surviving Nazi leadership probably got to his head.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:51 PM on February 10, 2007


Civili_Disobedient: I was defending the right to link to him, not his particular thoughts on the subject. Please get that straight.


That just isn't true. You are very much defending him. For example, the very next sentence you wrote: "Irving may be a thorn in the side of modern-day historians, but he has not to my knowledge ever espoused hatred of the Jewish people." and then you say that "His knowledge of the second war is unparalleled."

And, again, you are wrong. First, you are not really getting that Holocaust denial, from someone who obviously knows better, from someone who forged his data to try to hide the Holocaust, is hatred of Jews, pure and simple. This is not a random cry of "anti-Semitism" but the pure, most virulent form of the thing: deliberately covering up the genocide of six million Jews. The only way to justify this is to argue that there is, indeed, good evidence that the Holocaust never existed, and that is where your second statement "His knowledge of the second war is unparalleled" is particularly troubling - how could someone who has such knowledge have any doubt that the Holocaust existed? If his knowledge was unparalleled, then he must have read the Nazi telegrams, he must have interviewed SS guards, he must have talked to camp survivors. It is more than self-promotion to claim these things did not exist, and to start speaking to neo-Nazi groups, and deliberately eliminate evidence of the Holocaust.

Second, you are just plain in factual error as to his views on Jews. In fact, there was actually a famous libel case where Irving argued he wasn't anti-Semitic, and lost. From the English High Court's findings in 1996: "Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism."
posted by blahblahblah at 4:35 PM on February 10, 2007


jmd82 : "I feel no sympathy whatsoever when people complain about possibly visiting NSFW links from MeFi while at work. The issue is easily remedied on your end."

Easily remedied on the other end, too. But this is a discussion that has been had many, many times, and is characterised by everybody misunderstanding eachother (A: "It would be nice if you..." B: "Don't give me orders!"), so it's probably best avoided here, and the topic left on "should it be deleted or not".

languagehat : "Free speech, as a right, was derived from two liberal assumptions about the governance of society the fact that we, as human beings, have certain unalienable rights"

Hehe. "Unalienable rights". Handed down from God, or perhaps built into the way hydrogen atoms interact with helium atoms. (Sorry, I agree that free speech is good, and that suppressing free speech is bad, but I find appealing to "unalienable rights" to be plain silly).
posted by Bugbread at 6:37 PM on February 10, 2007


You are very much defending him. For example, the very next sentence you wrote: "Irving may be a thorn in the side of modern-day historians, but he has not to my knowledge ever espoused hatred of the Jewish people."

Well, have you? I've personally never read anything of the sort, but if you've got any evidence I'd be interested in hearing it.

and then you say that "His knowledge of the second war is unparalleled."

I did. Because it is. And like I said before, I offer no defense for his ideas on the holocaust. But for you, anyone who questions any aspect of the common accepted wisdom, regardless of whether or not the wisdom is factually accurate, is a Jew hater. A thoughtless, reflexive action based I'm sure in part to the fear of being considered a Jew-hater-sympathizer.

That's fine, I get that. I just don't agree with that.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:03 PM on February 10, 2007


Also...

Unalienable rights

They're inaliable rights. I don't know what unalienable rights are, but I know for damned sure those pesky Martians won't be getting them.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:05 PM on February 10, 2007


I just don't agree with that.

Riiiiight. David Irving has nothing against Jews. He's just committed against all odds to pure scientific truth.

Thanks for clearing that up.
posted by mediareport at 9:10 PM on February 10, 2007


Civil_Disobedient:But for you, anyone who questions any aspect of the common accepted wisdom, regardless of whether or not the wisdom is factually accurate, is a Jew hater.

No. I am saying that denying the Holocaust (and deliberately hiding and manipulating evidence to do so) is anti-Semitism. And everyone from the European Commission on Human Rights to Martin Gilbert to the English court system agrees. Irving is an anti-Semite. Feel free to read the detailed court findings if you want. You can find a list of his anti-Semitic statements that were submitted as evidence here. How you keep denying this, and how you equate "there are no gas chambers" with scholarly debate, is beyond me.

And I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to claim that I am making some sort of blanket statement over who is a "Jew hater" - I am saying David Irving certainly is, as are the others who deliberately use Holocaust denial as a way to hide the crimes of the Nazi regime. There is a difference between historical revisionism and Holocaust denial, one that many scholars have commented on, and it requires willful blindness to believe otherwise.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:21 PM on February 10, 2007


Civil_Disobedient : "They're inaliable rights. I don't know what unalienable rights are, but I know for damned sure those pesky Martians won't be getting them."

(That's what I thought, but since languagehat wrote it, I was just assuming I was wrong, and corrected my spelling accordingly. Firefox spellchecker accepts both)
posted by Bugbread at 9:51 PM on February 10, 2007


From some more or less cursory web-searches, Wikipedia prominent among them, it looks to me like this David Irving fellow was convicted in court of being an anti-Semite. It looks as if he brought the case to court himself, saying somebody had accused him of being an anti-Semite, and he wanted that accusation refuted. In court, they investigated, and decided, no, your accuser was right; it's not libel to say you're an anti-Semite, because you are an anti-Semite.

Someone please correct me if I've misunderstood.
posted by cgc373 at 9:58 PM on February 10, 2007


I am saying that denying the Holocaust (and deliberately hiding and manipulating evidence to do so) is anti-Semitism.

And I'm saying that questioning various aspects of it is not. And that's what I got from Irving's initial writings on it: he has not denied that the holocaust happened. Go read up for yourself. This all started because he specifically did not want to bestow any culpability to Adolf Hitler personally (most of this started around the time he wrote Hitler's War) which was the big "shocking" part of that book. And once he said that, he basically painted himself in a corner and had to keep coming up with ludicrous statements to back it up. I mean, nearly every book after Hitler's War is like an opportunity to exonerate this initial stupid idea that the leader of the Nazi party would somehow have no idea that an extermination plan was in place.

Thing is, everywhere he's gone where he's brought up any inconsistencies in the records regarding Auschwitz or Buchenwald, he's immediately shouted down. That's not civil discourse. It's a fairly obvious smear campaign, because everyone knows the worst thing you can be called to eliminate any chance of civilized discussion is a pedophile and the second-worst is an anti-Semite. And over the years it's only gotten worse, and he's gotten angrier and probably even started believing his own lies, such to the extent that you can actually follow the transformation over time with those quotes you linked to.

Someone please correct me if I've misunderstood.

No, that's exactly right. But as soon as you question anything, you're denying everything, a giant hand comes down and sews a giant A-S on your chest and you're forced to live in shame and ignominy for the rest of your life. Skepticism is one of the greatest freedoms of the educated person; only the most cretinous of small minds would automatically equate it with blasphemy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:10 AM on February 11, 2007


And that's precisely why I have no sympathy whatsoever for Irving, C_D, and made the original comment I did about creating small clubs where you can peddle your fantasies.
I wasn't around at the time, and no doubt some of the response to Hitler's War was based on shock at the very idea of questioning the accepted narrative of the Holocaust. But much serious academic criticism wasn't; it called him out on facts.
In his arrogance, Irving, who may or may not have always been an anti-Semite (I think he was), chose to go further down that path to the point of substantially aiding and abetting resurgent European neo-Nazis, and then out-and-out Holocaust deniers wherever, rather than admit mistakes and continue to defend his work amongst professional historians.
There were many of them happy to defend those parts of his oeuvre with insight and merit (see, for example, this article hostile to Irving which notes several major historians who defended him). Even at a point when he had in fact crossed over into fabrications, he wasn't being just shouted down.
posted by Abiezer at 2:16 AM on February 11, 2007


They're inaliable rights. I don't know what unalienable rights are, but I know for damned sure those pesky Martians won't be getting them.

Damn those founders and their typos!
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:32 AM on February 11, 2007


Beat me to it, anotherpanacea. (Not a typo, of course, just an alternate spelling. It continues to amaze me that people cling so blindly to the idea that there should be One Right Way to do everything, including write words.) And C_D, as an American you should be ashamed for not recognizing one of the most often quoted parts of the Declaration of Independence; I'm also curious as to why exactly you're so hot and bothered about possible insults to the beliefs of David Irving, who knows a lot about WWII and is also clearly an anti-Semite. I can understand people being invested in the faithfulness of their spouse or the brilliance of their children, but why are you so passionate about this asshole?
posted by languagehat at 7:45 AM on February 11, 2007


It sounds like C_D agrees with Irving that any questioning of the Holocaust will get you label an antisemite by those damn dirty Jews. Strange -- when I got my degree in Jewish studies, and most of my teacher were Jews, there were all sorts of assumptions about the Holocaust that were challenged. They just weren't challenged in the HUR HUR HUR FUCK THE JEWS tone that Irving frequently displays.

Case if point:

(viii) Speech at the Latvian Hall, Toronto, 8 November 1990, (p 15).

[Following an exhortation to "Sink the Auschwitz"] 'I should have warned you that I'm going to be very tasteless this evening, but it gets far more tasteless than this. [Laughter] Why should we be considerate about people who have lied to hundreds of millions of people for forty five years?'

posted by Astro Zombie at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2007


psst.... Astro Zombie... your brains are showing.
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:52 PM on February 11, 2007


And C_D, as an American you should be ashamed for not recognizing one of the most often quoted parts of the Declaration of Independence;

Are you kidding me? I've had it memorized since the 6th grade. Memorized wrong, amazingly. I always thought it was inalienable; perhaps it's just the double "ih" sound that I like so much.

but why are you so passionate about this asshole?

Because I despise the idea that we are not bright enough to make up our own minds about things, but instead must have them censored for our own good, lest we be swayed by the evil people of the world. It infuriates me.

when I got my degree in Jewish studies, and most of my teacher were Jews, there were all sorts of assumptions about the Holocaust that were challenged.

Yeah? When I got my degree in History, and had Elie Wiesel as my teacher, there were a lot of assumptions that weren't.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:53 PM on February 11, 2007


Yeah? When I got my degree in History, and had Elie Wiesel as my teacher, there were a lot of assumptions that weren't.

What does this have to do with the price of peach schnapps on a 21st-century Sunday?

I understand the idea of free speech, Civil_Disobedient, but I don't understand what you are trying to argue or to defend. David Irving is an erstwhile historian, now an anti-Semitic demagogue, so far as I can tell. So what? Who are you arguing with? Astro Zombie? Me? blahblahblah?

Nobody has said Irving can't say whatever the hell he wants to say—except "Germany and Canada," according to you, upthread, but I haven't checked on that. People here are saying the site doesn't need to link to his site unless there's a good reason to do so. That's all anybody here has said, so far as I can see.

Am I seeing something completely different from you?
posted by cgc373 at 2:41 PM on February 11, 2007


I've had it memorized since the 6th grade. Memorized wrong, amazingly.

OK, fair enough. God knows I've had my share of embarrassing "memorized wrong" moments. But still, what cgc373 said: I'm all for free speech, but that doesn't mean I passionately support every asshole who exercises it. I'm sorry you had sanctimonious debate-squashing teachers (so did I), but that doesn't change the fact that Irving is a complete jerk. Saying he is what he is isn't censorship, it's honesty.
posted by languagehat at 2:50 PM on February 11, 2007


Here's something of interest for folks still following this particular thread.

From the Google Adsense policy page:
Sites displaying Google ads may not include:

Violent content, racial intolerance, or advocacy against any individual, group, or organization
That's right; intolerance is the first listed criterion for ineligibility for Google ads. And yet this page has Google ads on it, presumably making money for some nasty anti-Semites. (The ads I saw directed to legit historical sites, btw.)

So, if you feel as I do that this site clearly violates the Google Ads terms of service, you can click ads by Google to let Google know about it. That link "Ads by Google" was on the offending page; it lets you give your feedback on the ad you just viewed, so if you want to do this properly, visit the Ziopedia page and click on "Ads by Google" so you get your own valid referer information.

One way of dealing with a nasty bully: hit him in the wallet.
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:38 PM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


ikkyu2, racial intolerance is the second criterion on that list.
posted by cgc373 at 3:40 PM on February 11, 2007


Nah, click through; it's a long bulleted list, what I quoted is the first bulleted point on the list. It's the second criterion on the sublist.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:19 PM on February 11, 2007


Oops. Sorry, ikkyu2. Reader error! Reader error!
posted by cgc373 at 4:27 PM on February 11, 2007


but I don't understand what you are trying to argue or to defend

I'm trying to defend the right of a user to link to a site that might be considered intolerant, particularly in this case when the subject matter wasn't promoting said intolerance. If Matt wants to prevent their association with MetaFilter by instituting NOFOLLOW tags, that's one thing. But outright censorship, particularly when the post isn't actually supporting intolerant ideas in any way, is abominable. Sorry if the whole Irving side-discussion obfuscated that point.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:37 PM on February 11, 2007


Yeah, the whole Irving side-discussion was insane. You chose a really stupid place to make a stand with that one.
posted by mediareport at 4:54 PM on February 11, 2007


I do that sometimes. Apologies.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:34 PM on February 11, 2007


Crap, second time in a month I've been accidentally branded a racist :(

Well, at least I didn't lose any friends this time.
posted by mkb at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2007


and ... arrested, but no photo.
posted by Tuwa at 5:57 PM on February 17, 2007


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