The astonishing moral cowardice of WordPress.com.

“Jews masquerade as goody two-shoed innocent victims, but they’re actually a race of selfish deceivers behind closed doors. All serial killers are Jewish. Killing/executing the Jews is the only solution.”

Shocked? Disgusted? Me too. The deranged barbarity of the language in which the Nazis dressed their efforts to exterminate the Jews of Europe has not lost its power to horrify. However, the hateful sentiments quoted are not extracts from a history of the Third Reich; they have not been harvested from the propaganda of Joseph Goebbels, nor are they examples of the homicidal demagoguery of Adolf Hitler.

AS1

Rather, they come from a virulently antisemitic 21st-century blog. A blog that lays calumny after libel after incitement at the door of the Jewish people. A blog that calls repeatedly for the death of all Jews. A blog shamefully given safe harbour on the popular WordPress.com content-publishing platform.

Corrupted Planet (no, I’m not going to help increase the author’s click-count by providing a link) is a barely-literate outpouring of antisemitic venom that demonises and de-humanises Jews in order to justify the author’s repeated calls for their extermination. Its extensive archive includes pages entitled ‘How to recognize a Jew’, ‘Jews are stupid’, ‘Solutions against Jews’ (the preferred option being to “kill every last Jew in the world”) and ‘All serial killers are Jewish’ (again, easily remedied by executing all Jews).

AllSynagogues

On recovering from stumbling into this sewer, my immediate thought was that the powers that be at WordPress.com would want to know that they were unwittingly hosting a call to commit mass murder. Naturally, they would be eager to remove it from their servers as quickly as possible. So, I reported it.

The WordPress.com Support page says, with regard to reporting a site:

“Please understand that we don’t always respond to these reports, but every single one is read (by a real human being), and the reported site is reviewed accordingly.”

So I was taken aback to receive an email from a real human being called auto-responder@wordpress.com, though not half as taken aback as when I read the message:

“Hi there. While WordPress.com does not condone the opinions expressed on the site in question, we will not remove material on the grounds that it is offensive or disturbing to its readers. Please refer to our position on freedom of speech at the link below:
http://en.wordpress.com/freedom-of-speech/
If you feel strongly about this particular issue, please consider blogging about it. You will, of course, have the same freedoms.– Terms of Service WordPress.com”

“Offensive or disturbing”? Get a grip, WordPress.com.

In the course of the last year and a half, there has been a marked increase in anti-Semitism around the world – particularly in the UK and across Europe. The outward manifestations of this range from public demonstrations in London at which Hezbollah flags are flown or Jews are told, with apparent impunity, to “F*** off back to Auschwitz” to physical attacks on Jewish businesses, synagogues and individuals. In the worst cases, people have died. Against this background, Corrupted Planet expresses, with impunity, views that throughout history have led to Jews being harmed.

Get rid of all Jews

By shrugging its shoulders at the homicidal call to action of one of its users, WordPress.com exhibits mind-boggling ignorance. In characterising the incitement to murder the world’s Jews as a matter of being offended or disturbed, WordPress.com is acting with dangerous irresponsibility. This despite the fact that its own terms of service state,

“However, be responsible in what you publish. In particular, make sure that none of the prohibited items (like spam, viruses, or serious threats of violence) appear on your website.”

Freedom of speech is not a one-way street; it has limits. Those limits kick in when it is exercised to the point that it tramples over the freedom of others to feel safe from violence. Here, WordPress.com is cravenly hiding behind the principle of freedom of speech in order to avoid the hard decision to deal with a user calling for the Jews to be exterminated. Again.

The moral cowardice of WordPress.com is simply beyond belief.

And this, by the way, is what happens when, instead of responsibly addressing a serious issue, you invite someone to blog about it.

Stephen Silverman
27th December 2015

 

 

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