Around seventy years ago, Kristallnacht happened.
Seventy years ago on Sunday 9th November the Nazi government sanctioned widespread destruction of property and wanton terror and violence against the Jewish communities of Germany and Austria. In the space of a few hours more than 1000 synagogues were torched, tens and thousands of Jewish businesses and homes ransacked and destroyed, 91 people murdered and more than 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps.
The name given to this night of terror was Kristallnacht or Night of Broken Glass in reference to the shattered glass that carpeted the streets – a testimony – even a trophy to the perpetrators ‘achievement’ in causing widespread destruction.
This is from a moving and insightful New Statesman article by Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust.
Naturally the comments box filled up with holocaust deniers, Israel obsessives and various other morons and arseholes. (This is the kind of thing I mean.) Eventually the NS turned off comments. Staff writer Ben Davies explains why and it’s worth reading his justification.
It’s tempting, as the editor of a website, to commission subjects that will get as many comments as possible. The theory goes that a lively comments section drives hits and given websites like ours are businesses that’s quite a consideration.
But there’s a serious downside to this. The web’s provided all manner of characters with a brand new opportunity to access a mass audience and quite frankly an awful lot of commenters don’t deserve that.
One of the things that annoys me most though is the failure to see – or to admit to seeing – the weakness in one’s own argument. You can always tell when a leader is past his or her sell by date because they start to believe their own bull – Tony Blair was a classic example of this. One could almost see him convincing himself as he fired off an explanation for some decision.
Equally we have commenters who relentlessly push the same world view at any opportunity. Believe me it’s begun to get a little tedious in some cases especially if they constantly accuse you of being part of an SIS plot or, in another case, unwittily insult fellow contributors – over and over and over again.
But all of this is part of the territory and comments can also be extremely intelligent, interesting and funny too.
What isn’t funny, intelligent or interesting is the vileness that appears in our comments section when we run anything to do with subjects like Israel/Palestine, the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the division of Cyprus – I could go on.
So having published an article to mark the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht and wasted far too much of our time on trying to moderate the comments I’ve switched off your right of reply. I’m not interested in providing an outlet for revisionist views of what happened in the Holocaust – especially when they blame Jewish people for the climate from which National Socialism sprang.
Equally I’m not interested in being a platform for extremist Zionists who scarcely conceal their racism towards their Arab neighbours and who belittle other victims of Hitler’s vile regime.
What the internet teaches us is that there are far more crazy people than you think. We didn’t know this pre-web because their foam-flecked and shakily capitalised letters were thrown in the waste baskets of local and national newspapers. Now, almost every media outlet has a comment reply facility. And because obsessives spend more time online, they are likely to have a greater voice in threads than intelligent and reasonable people who have jobs, relationships and social lives.
Question is: do newspapers and periodicals really want to give these people a platform? Do you really want to read a serious piece about the Holocaust, scroll down a little and find unhinged denialist propaganda staining the webpage?
No. And it’s not censorship. If I apply for an op-ed job at the New York Times and don’t get it, I am not being denied freedom of speech. My writing might not be right for the magazine, or they might have no jobs going, or they might not take people who aren’t trained journalists. Free speech doesn’t mean any media outlet is obliged to publish your views.
So let’s see how the NS commentariat responded to Davies’ explanation. Here’s our old friend Carl Jones:
What this CENSORSHIP boils down to, is the fact that there are so many perspectives, so many UNANSWERED QUESTIONS about the unrelenting NWO mantra, that the NS has little choice, but to close down the comments section, because it has outgrown the narrow brainwashing agenda setout in the said article.
However, once European denial laws are introduced into the UK, we will witness a TORRENT of Holocaust propaganda in the MSM and our schools. We should keep in mind that the elite constructed 2nd WW led to the creation of the EU and the Israeli state.
May 1941 and Roudolf Hess flew to Scotland on a peace mission. Hess had huge German military backing. Churchill wanted no peace, as the war was an elite design. Many millions were to die and alledgedly many millions of Jews…I say alledged, because the historical record shows wildly fluctuating numbers. The British government had the option to end the war. We also know the allies knew about crimes against Jews, although limited, why did they not assume this abuse was happening everywhere. Responsibility for these crimes lies at many doors, including 10 Downing Street.
Er. Yeah right Carl.