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Facebook Under Fire For Allowing Holocaust Deniers

Publication Date: 
May 12, 2009
Source: 
ABC News
Author: 
Ki Mae Heussner

Center for Internet and Society Residential Fellow M. Ryan Calo is quoted in an ABC News article about the legal aspects of allowing holocaust deniers a voice on Facebook:

In his open letter to Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Cuban took the site to task for supporting groups that promote hatred and not being transparent about the process it uses to remove content.

"I want an affirmative statement from Facebook that these groups will not be tolerated. Whether it's a group of 1 or 1000, hate is hate and hate begets hate," said Cuban.

And Cuban and others point out that this is not a First Amendment matter but, rather, a corporate responsibility issue.

"Facebook is not a state actor. Its activities do not implicate the First Amendment," said Ryan Calo, a legal fellow at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society. "Facebook has a Terms of Service and that could prohibit all kinds of different activities. It doesn't obligate Facebook to take stuff down. It just says [they] could."