Google Should Vigorously Combat Holocaust Denial

It’s outrageous but true.

If you type the word “Holocaust” on the Google search engine site, a wave of mostly reputable articles relating to this unprecedented event in European and Jewish history appears.

But if you enter the phrase “Did the Holocaust happen?”, you’ll be taken by surprise. Incredibly enough, the first item that pops up on the screen is “Top 10 reasons why the Holocaust didn’t happen.”

This inflammatory and insolent rebuke to the historical record appears on Stormfront.org, an American neo-Nazi site that revels in Holocaust denial and trades in antisemitism and racism.

When I last looked at the site, five rather than 10 “reasons” were listed for questioning the veracity of the Holocaust. All were typically baseless and asinine. In common with virtually all antisemitic groups, Stormfront.org cynically distorts the facts about the Holocaust.

That’s not really the point. What’s utterly disturbing and unacceptable here is that Google has announced it has no intention of changing the order of the search results and is effectively content with the status quo.

As a Google spokesperson told Fortune the other day, “We are saddened to see that hate organizations still exist. The fact that hate sites appear in search results does not mean that Google endorses these views.”

Search results, Google’s spokesperson added, are determined by computer algorithms.

“We do not remove content from our search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content, malware and violations of our webmaster guidelines,” Google went on to say.

What a lame and ridiculous explanation/excuse.

Surely Google can do better. I’m not a computer maven, but could Google not place Stormfront.org’s obnoxious entry so way back in the queue as to render it virtually invisible?

The right algorithms can do wonders.

Stormfront.org’s false and misleading content about the Holocaust is “fake news” in its purest and most unadulterated form. It’s part and parcel of a concerted campaign by Holocaust deniers to bury a seminal event in barbarism and to demean Jews, particularly Holocaust survivors.

It’s instructive that this entry piqued the interest of David Duke, a professional antisemite. “Oy Vey!” he tweeted in mock amusement. “Call the ADL.” He certainly had a good laugh at the expense of Jews.

If Stormfront.org is allowed to get away with spreading false and malicious news, the implications could be dire. History would be mocked and turned on its head. Young, impressionable minds could be warped.

The bottom line is that Goggle has set a dangerous precedent. Inspired by Stormfront.org’s digital gall, similar groups will doubtless try to misuse the search engine optimization method for nefarious ends. Lest we forget, the Internet is already being exploited to the hilt by antisemites.

Let’s be clear. This is not about free speech. It’s about making a mockery of history. It’s about incitement to hatred and bigotry.

At the very least, Google should take immediate steps to relegate Stormfront.org’s disgusting Holocaust entry to the very bottom of the rung. Better still, the entry should be deleted altogether.

At the very least, its filthy lies should not be given pride of place on the Internet.

 

About the Author
Sheldon Kirshner is a journalist in Toronto. He writes at his online journal, SheldonKirshner.com
Comments