Open Letter to Facebook’s Administrators

12. Oktober 2015


Dear Facebook-Administration,

thank you very much for your reply. Nevertheless, I am dispointed about the outcome of your consideration, whether or not the page „Die Atheisten“ runs against Facebook’s community rules. You told me, it does not.

FB-Decision_crop

On the one hand, this is a big surprise, at least to me. On the other hand my complain may have been to general to be judged correctly. So, let me explain on a very specific example why I think your decision is wrong, i.e. why I think that the named page does run against Facebook’s community rules (as far as I now them and, alternatively, as far as I assume the rules refer to basic moral principles of common sense).

Within a discussion on the named page one of the participants holds, that „these psychoidiots belong to Auschwitz“ („Diese Psychoidioten gehören nach Auschwitz!“).

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Obviously, „Auschwitz“ here is ment as a symbol of extermination refering to the Nazi’s Concentration and Extermination Camps in the area of Auschwitz (today: Oświęcim, Poland) during 1940 and 1945, where up to 1.5 million human beings, mainly Jews, were killed by shooting, forced labour, medical experiments, and gas. „Psychoidioten“ is a short description of „human being with religious belief“, as it comes out clearly in the context of the discussion around a statement claiming all religion to be psychological desease or disorder, obviously calling for „treatment“ (what else one would exspect?); just to remember: The industrialized killing of Jews (for example in Auschwitz) was not named „killing“ but „special treatment“ („Sonderbehandlung“). So, the historical reference is well thought-out, hence, it can not be taken as a joke (of extremly bad taste) , but must be taken as a serious threat to people with religious belief of any kind (including Jews).

As a human being with religious belief (I am a Christian), I am – according to the page’s claim – member of the targeted group of so called „Psychoidioten“ to be brought to „Auschwitz“ for the purpose of „treatment“, i.e. – knowing and assuming the context – „Sonderbehandlung“. In other words, the participant demands to kill me (among others). Obviously, I am threatened personally, as well as my wife (She is a Christian, too).

I have a very personal interest not to be threatened with murder by statements in discussions on Facebook. The same goes for my wife. I am sure, you agree when I emphasize my deep concern finding expressions of threat in hate speech and with a cruelly sophisticated historical reference not to be hold as running against Facebook’s community rules.

The fact, that this claim (1. a human being with religious belief suffers from a desease, 2. this – for the poor’s own best – has to be treated, 3. the treatment may take place in Auschwitz) seems to be accepted so far by both the administration of the page (I could not find any statement against, although administrators are deeply engaged in the discussion) and the majority of the participants (that seems to agree or at least not to disagree in a noticeable extent) makes it necessary to examine the page as such and – in case – to take action against the page generally. Therefore, I kindly ask you to reconsider your decision.

Kind regards,
Josef Bordat

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