Recently, a facebook event went up called Kill a Jew for getting Mein (Kampf(C wat I did thar!?)) accounts disabled. The page, which seems to be someone’s juvenile idea of a joke, is filled with anti-semitic comments and pictures of Hitler’s face. Although I believe few would take it seriously, and no specific plans are listed on the event wall, the event quite blatantly promotes violence against Jews.
In response another facebook event, ONE MILLION STRONG AGAINST KILL A JEW DAY, was created by facebook users who found the event to be offensive. The latter page asks users to demand facebook take down the event by clicking on facebook’s “report event” option, under which a “direct call for violence” is one of the choices that can be selected.
While I agree that the material is offensive, I searched “hate jews” under other facebook pages and found many similar groups and events. One of the most populat ones is called I Hate Israel and Jews, and has 243 members. However, I wasn’t invited to any groups or events against this page, which has been around for at least a month, whereas the Kill Jews event, which has a mere 52 members attending, already has an event demanding its removal.
(In addition, it is worth noting that the event against the Killing of Jews (the anti-anti-Semitic one) has a staggering 10, 374 confirmed guests.)
So, what is the difference between the event urging people to Kill Jews and the I Hate Jews and Israel? From a legal perspective they are both expressing a matter of opinion, people exercising their freedom of speech. However, the second one could be seen as “inciting violence”, encouraging people to take action against Jews…but is it really doing that? It’s all in the event’s title, but the page itself doesn’t contain information about plans to commit violence, so does it even live up to its hype? I personally don’t see it as dangerous, but I definitely understand why it would offend people and why it’s scary to have sites like that exist. I guess my question is whether there really is a difference between the Kill Jews event and the Hate Jews group. As of now, facebook has removed neither of them, but as more and more people report the sites as offensive and dangerous material, will another decision be made?