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Mark Zuckerberg's Sister Simultaneously Rejects and Defends Facebook Censorship

Censorship is "nefarious." Unless it's being carried out by the government.

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|||LEWIS JOLY/VIVA TECHNOLOG/SIPA/Newscom
LEWIS JOLY/VIVA TECHNOLOG/SIPA/Newscom

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's sister doesn't think the social media company should censor Holocaust deniers. She wants the government to do that.

Zuckerberg drew criticism Wednesday after Recode asked him about fake news on the platform. Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, told the interviewer that he did not want to delete even something as deeply and personally offensive to him as Holocaust denial. "I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong," he said. "I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong." Zuckerberg was willing to take down pages engaged in actually organizing harm. But when a page limits itself to expressing offensive opinions, he'd rather lower its reach than expel it.

The comments were quickly criticized by people who believe Facebook had a duty to banish ideas like Holocaust denial.

In statement provided to CNN late Thursday evening, Zuckerberg' sister, Randi Zuckerberg, said that she had a duty to weigh in as a leader of the Jewish community and someone who has "worked at the ground floor of social media." She does not want to live, she writes, "in a world where tech companies get to decide who has the right to speech and get to police content in a way that is different from what our legal system dictates."

"While it can be appalling to see what some people say," she argues, "I don't think living in a sterile, Stepford-like online community where we simply press the delete button on the ugly reality of how people feel is helpful either." It would be "nefarious," she said, for Facebook to selectively silence the public.

Unless, that is, it's just following the law. "Rather than rally against technology," she writes, "let's recognize that this hate exists, that it's not going anywhere, and use our anger as a rallying cry to call for legislation to make Holocaust denial a crime."

Unlike in several European countries, America has no federal law criminalizing Holocaust denial. (There has been at least one case where a Montana man's bigoted tweets were prosecuted under a broad defamation statute that existed in state law.) Nor can Americans use group libel—slander against an entire community based on religion, ethnicity, etc.—or a similar tool to pursue a defamation suit against Holocaust deniers.

So this would be a radical change in the law, one that would run into obvious First Amendment problems. As Reason's Robby Soave argues,

Policing hate on a very large scale is quite difficult given the frequently subjective nature of offense; we risk de-platforming legitimate viewpoints that are unpopular but deserve to be heard; and ultimately, silencing hate is not the same thing as squelching it.

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  1. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s sister

    Who?!

    1. said that she had a duty to weigh in as a leader of the Jewish community

      Oh THAT Randi Zuckerberg.

      1. I know a CEO who lobbies Capitol Hill
        He won’t call for hate speech bans, but his sister will

        1. There’s a White House over yonder
          That’s where my baby stays
          There’s a White House over yonder
          That’s where my baby stays
          Lord, my baby’s been on Twitter
          For about three thousand days
          (Tell ya it’s some kinda crackpot addiction.)

          Wait a minute something’s wrong here
          My encrypted key don’t unlock these backdoors
          Said wait a minute something’s wrong here
          The encrypted key don’t open no backdoors
          I gots me a bad bad feeling
          Maybe they’re actually gonna put in some security here!

          (Ah well I still got my guitar…look out!)

          I may as well go back down
          Back down across Capitol Hill
          I may as well go back down
          Back down ‘cross Capitol Hill
          This CEO won’t call for no hate speech bans
          But lord knows his sister will

          Yeah he ain’t callin’ for hate speech bans
          But you know his sister will

          And if my baby don’t love me know more…
          I know his sister will!
          (Alright, do that bluesy walkdown into the ninth…yeah that’s it.)

          1. [takes two spoons out of back pocket and starts spooning with lively rhythm]

  2. Ohh, she was so close.

    1. Yeah, it really felt like a hard right turn when she veered off towards crazy town.

      1. “Rather than rally against technology,” she writes, “let’s recognize that this hate exists, that it’s not going anywhere, and use our anger as a rallying cry to call for legislation to make Holocaust denial a crime.”

        I was reading this sentence, nodding in agreement, and then voooooooom, it went away from me.

          1. “Dentists- who needs them”

  3. Policing hate on a very large scale is quite difficult

    Robby misspelled “utterly impossible”.

    1. I actually think he misspelled “fucking stupid in the first place”.

      1. Holocaust Denial Denying Deniers! Get em!

    2. It’s not even beneficial.

  4. Any word on what Elon Musk’s mother has to say about this issue?

    1. I suspect she’s too busy dealing with Vernon Unsworth’s mother.

    2. Musk is really becoming unhinged. This is throwing a monkey wrench into my plans to get to Mars.

      1. No need to go; they have socialism already.

  5. Well, she certainly has a First Amendment right to advocate for unconstitutional government censorship – but only because the First Amendment is so broad.

    It’s worrisome, of course, that she’s connected (at least by family ties) with a company which has been working closely with government lately to deal with the “problem” of bad speech.

  6. Yes her statements were baffling. Because she did a great job of extolling free speech and then she turns around and skewers it. I think she knows there is no chance that holocaust denial can be criminalized in the US. I would LOVE to see them try. I have been falsely accused of it many times. These days the claim is not about whether exactly 6M Jews died or how they died but about the complicity of the Zionists in collaborating with the Nazis and assassinating peace loving Jews who stood against them. This issue is definitely worthy of debate but people are sitting in prison across Europe for daring to bring it up. Europe is so screwed. They seem either to have not learned their lesson (‘blood libel’ was similarly banned in Weimar) or perhaps they have learned it all too well.

    1. I have been falsely accused of it many times.

      Something only a guilty person would say.

  7. I thought Facebook was just a private company which will lose market share to another company if it censors too much stuff.

    Please tell me I’m right about this.

    1. Isn’t Facebook a de facto planet unto itself, with its own way of life and everything?

      1. Seems to be full of middle-aged women with dogs and my high school friends pretending that they’re not miserable.

        1. and my high school friends pretending that they’re not miserable

          You do have a way of spreading misery whether people are your friends or not.

          1. You just haven’t gotten to know me.

            1. Nobody dares.

    2. I thought Facebook was just a private company which will lose market share to another company if it censors too much stuff.

      Why would it lose market share for doing what the general public wishes the US government would do?

    3. It’s already sliding off. Instagram is a big one now for kids, but has been acquired by FB. Snapchat and such are huge though, and I’m not too concerned about a permanent monopoly or anything any time soon.

      1. Yeah – I suspect the government is going to find the “sweet spot” for taking perfect control of Facebook content right about when the last Facebook user succumbs to Alzheimer’s.

    4. It’s about time to bust the Myspace monopoly.

  8. Thursday evening, Zuckerberg’ sister, Randi Zuckerberg, said that she had a duty to weigh in as a leader of the Jewish community and someone who has “worked at the ground floor of social media.”

    According to her wikipedia page she is “the former Director of Market Development and spokesperson for Facebook,” so I guess she has at least “worked at the ground floor of social media,” but in what way is she a “leader of the Jewish community?” What’s she done to earn that status other then being Jewish and related to someone who’s rich and famous? What makes her more qualified than, say, Mel Brookes to claim to be a “leader of the Jewish community?” I never even knew Mark Zuckerberg had a sister until just now.

    1. [She] advocated for the abolition of anonymity on the Internet to protect children and young adults from cyber-bullying.

      What about anonymity in meatspace?

      1. What you do in that meat freezer after hours is no one’s business but your own.

      2. Say goodbye to black masks and impotent rage.

    2. I’m sure the Jewish community feels lucky to have her as a self-appointed leader

    3. Bitch, Mel Brooks IS a leader of the Jewish community.

  9. “use our anger as a rallying cry to call for legislation to make Holocaust denial a crime.”

    HATE SPEECH!

  10. I actually think that ‘holocaust denial’ and ‘russian meddling’ are related in that both are being used as a pretext for government restrictions. Generally it’s different people on each hobby horses, but they are colluding to establish a censorship regime. And the ‘useful idiots’ come along and see the controversies and think, “Why not?” This is why it’s so important to stand up against it in both cases. We must commit to fighting hate ourselves and not delegate the job to either private industry or government drones. In fact Zuck’s greatest gift to humanity is a platform where we can do so from the comfort and safety of our living rooms. Yet we prefer to blather all day about stupid things like soda taxes and pat ourselves on the back and think we’ve made a difference.

    1. I quite like the circle-jerk we have here, thankyouverymuch.

  11. Well, now, after calling for government censorship, I hate her, so… does that make her words “hate speech”?

  12. Is Holocaust denial a thing because antisemites are looking for better PR? They want to kill all the Jews, but don’t you dare accuse them of having already tried!

    ??

    1. You see Tony, Semitic sentiment is an artificially binary social construct. In reality, it’s more of a spectrum. You have anti-semites, anti-zionists, anti-victimists, plain old pro-Aryans. Not to mention your run of the mill Anglophiles, Francophiles, and various other generic pro-Westerners. It’s really kind of like a hate crime to conflate a relatively peaceful pro-Westerner with a violent anti-zionist. So you should really be more careful about what you say and how you say it, otherwise, people might think you’re a bigot. After all, anti-SZV/pro-A rights are human rights.

      1. You progtards have got to get a life man.

        1. Anti progtard hate speech!

  13. From WaPo:

    “The Justice Department plans to alert the public to foreign operations targeting U.S. democracy under a new policy designed to counter hacking and disinformation campaigns such as the one Russia undertook in 2016 to disrupt the presidential election.

    The government will inform American companies, private organizations and individuals that they are being covertly attacked by foreign actors attempting to affect elections or the political process.

    “Exposing schemes to the public is an important way to neutralize them,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who announced the policy at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, according to prepared remarks. “The American people have a right to know if foreign governments are targeting them with propaganda.”

    1. Censorship is coming whether Zuckerman wants it or not. Except no one actually cares about Holocaust deniers. That’s just an excuse for what they really want to censor.

      1. Sounds like they just want to inform stupid Americans when they’re being used by the Russians like a cheap Russian hooker (the kind who doesn’t do pee play).

        1. Go with that, Tony. You look smart

          1. I used to accuse you guys of being unpaid buttboys for the Republican party and thinking how pathetic that was, but now I’m not sure if some of you aren’t being paid by the Russians (of which the Republican party is a subsidiary). (Did I get my double negative right?)

            1. And I used to think you couldn’t look more mentally ill, but you continue to outdo yourself.

              1. By the way, Tulps, kudos on your destruction of Chipper Morning on Tuesday. He’s been off his game ever since.

                Like, hugely off his game. Missing the backboard completely off his game.

                Nicely done.

                1. Tony doesnt destroy anything.

                  People just give up talking to a wall like Tony.

                2. [runs away]

            2. My Russian check came in the mail the other day, but it’s in Rubles. Anyone want them?

              1. My Russian check came in the mail the other day, but it’s in Rubles. Anyone want them?

                Sure! I need to re-wallpaper anyway.

    2. Wait, Facebook is bullshit? They just want to sell personal data to advertisers?
      Say it ain’t so.

  14. Are people ignorant or lying when they say Zyklon B pellets were poured into the chamber to effect the killing? Zyklon B had to be heated to release the cyanide from the clay pellets.

    1. Research at Degesch of Germany led to the development of Zyklon , a pesticide which released hydrogen cyanide upon exposure to water and heat. . It was banned after a similar product was used by Germany as a chemical weapon in World War I.

      Hmm, mixed with water…. a shower….. hmmmm ……had been used as a weapon before…….. huh

      1. But the “shower room” wasn’t a shower room it was a gas chamber so there wasn’t any hot water.

  15. Simultaneously taking two logically inconsistent if not outright diametrically opposed positions on a subject?

    Who the Hell does Zuck think he is Donald Trump?

    1. she, not he

      1. That depends – – – – – –

        1. < slow clap >

    2. It’s consistent in socialist retard logic. Distrust corporations; trust Big Brother.

  16. I think we’re starting to see a shift in attitude in the tech industry – at least among those actually running businesses and not their sisters – where they’re starting to realize the sheer scale of the effort involved in censoring – but not censoring too much – that is being demanded. And I think they’re starting to realize that giving in to political demands on this not only won’t save them from government but is opening the gates to ever more demands from politicians that they do this or that at their whim.

    First you have Steam finally backing away from censoring titles in its store based on content and now Faceberg reversing himself and basically saying its not only not his responsibility to monitor user-added content to conform with some third party’s desires but its not even appropriate for him to do so.

    1. Good point. It wasn’t very long ago that all these types were enthusiastically on board with the full program of censorship, fighting “hate”, the whole nine yards.

      Your turn, Tim Cook.

  17. Section 230(c)(1) of theCommunications Decency Act:
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.
    Based on past court cases:
    In analyzing the availability of the immunity offered by this provision, courts generally apply a three-prong test. A defendant must satisfy each of the three prongs to gain the benefit of the immunity:
    The defendant must be a “provider or user” of an “interactive computer service.”
    The cause of action asserted by the plaintiff must treat the defendant as the “publisher or speaker” of the harmful information at issue.
    The information must be “provided by another information content provider,” i.e., the defendant must not be the “information content provider” of the harmful information at issue.

    I don’t see anything here that prevents banning stuff. As long it comes from a third party and is not “edited”, the mighty Zuck is probably OK. Not letting it through at all isn’t covered.

  18. Jesus Christ, nobody even cares what Mark ‘The Suck’ Zuckerberg thinks let alone his sister.

    1. That’s why there’s so much news about him, because nobody cares.

  19. If Facebook starts banning conspiracy theories because they are loony, how are people going to expose actual conspiracies that aren’t loony?

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