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TSR close down Holocaust denial threads Watch

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    (Original post by lightburns)
    Denying that the Holocaust happened is irrational and idiotic. But have you seen how many conspiracy theories are followed - look at 9/11 truthers.

    There are sites dedicated to such conspiracy theories, which are generally heavily biased and inaccurate. There are far fewer dedicated to debunking these - a youtube video debunking the thermite thing here for 9/11, another on why the emails about global warming aren't that massive, etc. These can hardly keep up with the overall picture - because always, those who think a conspiracy is a thing is going to be more involved than those who think it's not.

    There is one way that can really help against such opinions. Debate and discussion. Forums.

    Here, when someone spouts bs, bias and misinformation, you can almost guarantee that someone will check it, and they will answer it. We see this happen on other equally irrational things - check out the Creationism v.s. Evolution thread on the Religion board.

    Mr Bloggs is interested in the Holocaust conspiracy theories, lets say. He wants to find out. He makes a thread and starts a discussion, and sees that Holocaust denial is continually called out and debunked, and seems to be full of internal consistencies. Very interesting. It's probably wrong, Mr Bloggs decides, based on the facts that have been presented. Mr Smith is, however, on a forum that doesn't allow debate. He instead googles it, ends up on a Holocaust denial site, and is swayed by all the (bs) evidence - with nothing to counter it.

    In my opinion, closing the discussion down indirectly encourages extremism and falsehoods.
    That's an interesting way of looking at things and it doesn't seem likely that would be closed if, as Vlad and Democracy have said, it was reasoned, backed with sufficient 'evidence' and didn't descend into a spammy flame war. The trouble is that often this doesn't happen and the thread is never constructive in any way.

    P.S. A+ for TSR for leaving this open - I have seen many forums etc. where the ones who run it get emotionally involved when a thread is made questioning one of their methods - they see it as people deciding that they are incapable of running it etc., when at least from my end it's quite the opposite. I'm still here because I like TSR, which is going to be a large part thanks to the ones who turn the cogs.
    As long as it is constructive and not solely aimed at attacking moderators, feedback is always welcome. :yep:
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    (Original post by Ape Gone Insane)
    That's an interesting way of looking at things and it doesn't seem likely that would be closed if, as Vlad and Democracy have said, it was reasoned, backed with sufficient 'evidence' and didn't descend into a spammy flame war. The trouble is that often this doesn't happen and the thread is never constructive in any way.
    The thread which was deleted that sparked this thread was by all means constructive and was not descending into a "spammy flame war".

    I can't really see why it was deleted, unless it was a duplicate account posting or something.
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    (Original post by Tabzqt)
    The thread which was deleted that sparked this thread was by all means constructive and was not descending into a "spammy flame war".

    I can't really see why it was deleted, unless it was a duplicate account posting or something.
    I'm not in a position to disclose but there's always a good reason for binning a thread.

    I know when I was a member, I sometimes complained about not seeing why a certain thread was binned but now I realise that's mainly because I didn't have the same information as moderators do.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    See the Mod explanation above - they haven't dumped the thread because of legal issues. However, I find the explanation that it has a high degree of argument a bit weak - isn't a debating area supposed to have a lot of argument, some of it rather fierce? I suppose if it descends to personal insults, that's different.

    The problem with automatically deleting threads on this subject is that it tends to feed the delusions of deniers - they read on the websites that influence them that all discussion of the supposed "truth" is prohibited, which kind of serves the paranoid mentality of it.
    From a purely practical perspective, it makes it virtually impossible to moderate effectively. We're volunteers, and it's very difficult to keep topics like this within the rules when extreme views are expressed when we can't moderate them 24x7.
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    (Original post by Mad Vlad)
    From a purely practical perspective, it makes it virtually impossible to moderate effectively. We're volunteers, and it's very difficult to keep topics like this within the rules when extreme views are expressed when we can't moderate them 24x7.
    Are you classifying 'holocaust denial' as an extreme view to be deleted automatically? If so, I must have misunderstood - I assumed that there were other reasons for the thread being binned. I don't think it's right to delete threads just because they contain denial material, they should be argued with. As others have pointed out, whilst it is clearly bonkers, denying the holocaust, or aspects of it, is not illegal in the UK. Of course, many deniers are too sophisticated to issue blanket denials, they challenge particular things like the existence or non-existence of gas chambers.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Are you classifying 'holocaust denial' as an extreme view to be deleted automatically? If so, I must have misunderstood - I assumed that there were other reasons for the thread being binned. I don't think it's right to delete threads just because they contain denial material, they should be argued with. As others have pointed out, whilst it is clearly bonkers, denying the holocaust, or aspects of it, is not illegal in the UK. Of course, many deniers are too sophisticated to issue blanket denials, they challenge particular things like the existence or non-existence of gas chambers.
    There's a difference between Holocaust denial and healthy educated scepticism. When I talk about Holocaust denial, I'm referring to the bat**** crazy far-right advocacy that encourage hate and in this case, anti-Semitism. Healthy scepticism based on evidence is something completely different.
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    (Original post by Ape Gone Insane)
    That's an interesting way of looking at things and it doesn't seem likely that would be closed if, as Vlad and Democracy have said, it was reasoned, backed with sufficient 'evidence' and didn't descend into a spammy flame war. The trouble is that often this doesn't happen and the thread is never constructive in any way.
    If the thread just goes into swearing, shouting and prejudice then absolutely it should be shut down. If this is all that's happened in the past, then I actually have no disagreement with TSR for having always shut this down.

    Shame, really. Sometimes these conspiracy theories are based on a slight dent that is interesting, even if they've extrapolated it to insanity. I've never followed it up, but I've seen a suggestion that the gas chambers weren't used as widely down as thought - according to this person, the victims were more likely to be shot. Okay, it's not Holocaust denial, it still could easily be bs, but I'd find a thread discussing that kind of thing interesting. Not worth it if it just implodes with Neo-Nazi hate and what have you.

    If people can be civil, then even full-out-crazy Holocaust denial isn't a thing to shy away from. If.

    As long as it is constructive and not solely aimed at attacking moderators, feedback is always welcome. :yep:
    ^ A good example of why I like how this place is run. Too many places where you get banned for disagreement :eek:
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    (Original post by Mad Vlad)
    There's a difference between Holocaust denial and healthy educated scepticism. When I talk about Holocaust denial, I'm referring to the bat**** crazy far-right advocacy that encourage hate and in this case, anti-Semitism. Healthy scepticism based on evidence is something completely different.
    I didn't see all that was happening in the thread before it was binned, but it seemed to be of the 'doubting evidence' type more than barking anti-semitic type (I agree with your view on the latter) - of course, some deniers have straightforwardly anti-semitic motives, not least some of their biggest voices like David Irving - but it's important to realise that many people will have just been confused by books or websites and come to a place like TSR out of genuine confusion. I'm not saying that was the case with this particular OP as it sounds from other people as if he's a serial poster on the subject.
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    (Original post by Tabzqt)
    Just because Holocaust denial is usually associated with antisemitism doesn't mean it always is so. The OP of the thread that got deleted said he didn't agree with fascism, antisemitism etc. Take from that what you will. He might be telling the truth, he might not. My point is that some people are not racist and still doubt aspects of the Holocaust (there might not be many, but they still exist). We need to address their concerns rather than just banning them.
    I agree that the threads should not just be banned, however all too often Holocaust deniers are just anti-semites. It would be fantastic to be able to debate and rationalise with the opposing argument here, but practically, TSR isn't going to change its mind anytime soon.
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    I've seen plenty of people on here deny plenty of other Genocides, special status should not be afforded to the Holocaust.
    One of the instances where I actually agree with you.
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    I've seen plenty of people on here deny plenty of other Genocides, special status should not be afforded to the Holocaust.
    Whilst I can understand that it may seem to people that "all genocides are created equal" or whatnot, it tends to be the case that those denying the Holocaust are inherently and unquestionably anti-Semitic, in the way that idiots who deny the Armenian Genocide tend not to be anti-Armenian as such.
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    (Original post by The Epicurean)
    I don't agree with the thread being closed. I think the Holocaust should still be allowed to be up for debate. I dislike how the term anti-semite is thrown at anyone who might wish to discuss or question the Holocaust. It is as if the word anti-semite is used to silence people. If one were to deny the Holocaust they would not be called homophobic, how comes? Many gay people were killed during the Holocaust. If one were to deny the Holocaust, they would not get called antiziganist despite the fact that many gypsies were killed in it.

    The Holocaust should be debated as many details are questionable. Figures for the amount who died vary widely between sources. It is a false dichotomy to assume that there are only two positions within this dicussion, namely denial or acceptance of the Holocaust.

    I also don't like how the Holocaust is afforded special exemptions that other genocides don't have. The Holodomor happened around the similar time as the Holocaust and is estimated to have killed similar amounts of people, yet the Holodomor can seem to be questioned or denied without one being labeled a castigating term. In fact, the UK government doesn't even officially recognise the Holodomor.
    Your last paragraph endorses your opponents' viewpoint perfectly. People who deny the Holodomor are not inherently anti-Ukranian. Conversely, Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic by definition, and every single Holocaust denier I can conceivably think of (including those who have posted on TSR) expresses their denial in anti-Semitic language, speaking about how it is a Jewish-orchestrated conspiracy that is part and parcel of their plan to dominate the world.

    If the Holocaust is not a fact, then someone must have invented it. And if someone must have invented it, then it must be the Jews. And they must have done it for their own selfish, nefarious interests. That is the deniers' logic, and anti-Semitism is ingrained in their beliefs.

    This language is not afforded to the Holodomor or the Armenian Genocide. It seems as if you're not quite aware of the strong link between the conspiracies surrounding the Holocaust and anti-Semitic world views. One is not homophobic for denying the Holocaust because Nazi exterminationists never viewed homosexuals in the same way they viewed Jews. Denying the Holocaust is the equivalent of believing in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, with Holocaust deniers always believing that Jews are an occult and nefarious force organising to destroy whiteness.
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    (Original post by Rhadamanthus)
    Your last paragraph endorses your opponents' viewpoint perfectly. People who deny the Holodomor are not inherently anti-Ukranian. Conversely, Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic by definition, and every single Holocaust denier I can conceivably think of (including those who have posted on TSR) expresses their denial in anti-Semitic language, speaking about how it is a Jewish-orchestrated conspiracy that is part and parcel of their plan to dominate the world.

    If the Holocaust is not a fact, then someone must have invented it. And if someone must have invented it, then it must be the Jews. And they must have done it for their own selfish, nefarious interests. That is the deniers' logic, and anti-Semitism is ingrained in their beliefs.

    This language is not afforded to the Holodomor or the Armenian Genocide. It seems as if you're not quite aware of the strong link between the conspiracies surrounding the Holocaust and anti-Semitic world views. One is not homophobic for denying the Holocaust because Nazi exterminationists never viewed homosexuals in the same way they viewed Jews. Denying the Holocaust is the equivalent of believing in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, with Holocaust deniers always believing that Jews are an occult and nefarious force organising to destroy whiteness.

    You say Holocaust denial is anti-semitic by definition. I would find this a fallacious argument.

    • Person 1 states that Y is false.
    • Person 2 also states that Y is false, and person 2 is an anti-semite.
    • Therefore person 1 must be an anti-semite too.


    It does not follow. I would agree that you would be correct in assuming that a large number of Holocaust deniers generally are influenced by views which are anti-semitic in nature. But that doesn't mean all Holocaust deniers are inherently anti-semitic. Take for example a person who has not heard/ is not educated about the Holocaust. When hearing about it, they could respond incredulously and deny that such an event could of happened. We can therefore assume that it is possible that Holocaust denial could come from ignorance. Responders to Holocaust denial should not resort to flagrant attacks whereby the denier is labeled an anti-semite.

    Also, where do we draw the line? Some anti-semitic people don't deny the Holocaust but merely claim the figures are overflated and that the numbers who died were much smaller. Would you consider questioning the numbers who died also anti-semitic and therefore also beyond discussion?

    I am more than aware of the conspiracies surrounding the Holocaust and have frequented websites like Stormfront more than enough times. However, someone being an anti-semite does not invalidate their argument. Their argument may contain some bias, but their argument can still contain some relevant points. Likewise, on the discussion of the Israel/Palestine issue, an Israeli citizens view which is pro-Israel may contain some bias but it does not invalidate their argument.

    No topic should be beyond discussion and throwing out the term anti-semite to anybody who questions/denies the Holocaust in order to silence them is dangerous territory.
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    There's a difference between what denial trades on and the instigators of denial; denial trades partly on the fact that it is very difficult to conceive (for many people - possibly most people) that a modern state of apparently rational people set out quite deliberately to do something so monstrous and carried it through with a mixture of bureacratic efficiency and barbarous cruelty. This is so difficult to accept, that many people shy away from it, are deeply puzzled or are simply open to hearing alternative, more plausible-sounding explanations. These are the fertile ground into which the instigators throw their seeds of confusion and doubt. The instigators are mainly anti-semitic, but some are a mixture of anti-semitic and the sort of extreme doubter that I describe above.

    The big problem with closing down all discussion is that the doubt people then don't have a forum where they can discuss the problems with knowledgeable people who do know more and can disprove the instigators and all the confused and sly messages that have been given to the doubters.
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    (Original post by ChocoCoatedLemons)
    Well yes. But most threads that are clearly inherently racist get banned. Holocaust denial is completely anti-semitic, so TSR isn't about to allow it.
    No, it's not. It can be, but denying that the holocaust happened is not inherently anti-semitic any more than denying men walked on the moon is anti-Neil Armstrong

    Thanks for the neg-and-run, Rhadamanthus. Might I say what a fine counter-argument I imagine you would have produced were you a reasonable human being.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    No, it's not. It can be, but denying that the holocaust happened is not inherently anti-semitic any more than denying men walked on the moon is anti-Neil Armstrong
    A more fitting simile would be:

    Denying the Holocaust is not inherently anti-semitic any more than denying the slavery of black people is racist against black people.

    See my point? When something has absolutely overwhelming evidence that it happened, to deny it merely becomes an irrational act against the victims of the act.
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    (Original post by ChocoCoatedLemons)
    A more fitting simile would be:

    Denying the Holocaust is not inherently anti-semitic any more than denying the slavery of black people is racist against black people.

    See my point? When something has absolutely overwhelming evidence that it happened, to deny it merely becomes an irrational act against the victims of the act.
    You completely missed the point of my simile, which was to demonstrate that opposition to acceptance of the Holocaust is not necessarily out of anti-semitism or a desire to offend Jews but could be out of a desire for truth and intellectual integrity, just as denying the occurrence of the moon landing could be out of desire for truth-seeking rather than hatred of Neil Armstrong.

    The idea that people should be stopped from expressing ideas and challenging established historical events, however well-intentioned this repression, is still repressive. I'm not comfortable with stopping people from expressing beliefs and theories in a civil way.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    of course, some deniers have straightforwardly anti-semitic motives, not least some of their biggest voices like David Irving
    Do you have any evidence for this at all or is it loose-tongued slander?
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    (Original post by The Epicurean)
    No topic should be beyond discussion and throwing out the term anti-semite to anybody who questions/denies the Holocaust in order to silence them is dangerous territory.
    Hear, hear, hear
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    You completely missed the point of my simile, which was to demonstrate that opposition to acceptance of the Holocaust is not necessarily out of anti-semitism or a desire to offend Jews but could be out of a desire for truth and intellectual integrity, just as denying the occurrence of the moon landing could be out of desire for truth-seeking rather than hatred of Neil Armstrong.

    The idea that people should be stopped from expressing ideas and challenging established historical events, however well-intentioned this repression, is still repressive. I'm not comfortable with stopping people from expressing beliefs and theories in a civil way.
    But the thing is, as someone else has already said I believe, the reasons for denying the Holocaust must be anti-semitic. I honestly struggle to think of any argument that could be made by a Holocaust denier that does not have anti-semitic undertones.

    Even the arguments against the facts, rather than the intent ect.

    For example:

    - The authorities and vast majority of historians say that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust is in the region of 6 million.
    - The amount of Jews killed is less than the officially accepted number.
    - The authorities involved have perpetuated the falsehood that 6 million were killed.
    - Why would they do this?
    - The Jews want sympathy and are controlling the authorities involved.
    - Jewish Conspiracy.
    - Anti Semitism.

    Do you see what I mean? When one reaches the stage of questioning why there has supposedly been a cover up, the only option open is that the people who spread the "lies" about the Holocaust are doing it for corrupt reasons. That can only lead to anti-semitism.

    I'm not sure I've explained that through very well, but I hope you get at least the gist of what I've tried to go for.
 
 
 
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