July 12, 2020

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The Internet Archive hosts racist, homophobic, antisemitic content


Browsing through the Internet Archive one can find openly antisemitic material.

And anyone can upload pretty much anything.

Its terms of use says:

Because the content of the Collections comes from around the world and from many different sectors, the Collections may contain information that might be deemed offensive, disturbing, pornographic, racist, sexist, bizarre, misleading, fraudulent, or otherwise objectionable. The Archive does not endorse or sponsor any content in the Collections, nor does it guarantee or warrant that the content available in the Collections is accurate, complete, noninfringing, or legally accessible in your jurisdiction, and you agree that you are solely responsible for abiding by all laws and regulations that may be applicable to the viewing of the content. 

As far as uploading goes, the only type of material that the Internet Archive may act on is child pornography and anything else that hurts minors. Otherwise, the Internet Archive will keep its hands off, even if the material violates copyright or is illegal in some jurisdictions, saying that they have no responsibility for what is uploaded, but asking people not to break the law.

Some of the content available through the Archive may be governed by local, national, and/or international laws and regulations, and your use of such content is solely at your own risk. You agree to abide by all applicable laws and regulations, including intellectual property laws, in connection with your use of the Archive. In particular, you certify that your use of any part of the Archive’s Collections will be limited to noninfringing or fair use under copyright law. If a Creative Commons or other license has been declared for particular material on the Archive, to the extent you trust the declaration and declarer (which is rarely the Internet Archive), you may use the content according to the terms and conditions of the applicable license. In using the Archive’s site, Collections, and/or services, you further agree (a) not to violate anyone’s rights of privacy, (b) not to act in any way that might give rise to civil or criminal liability, (c) not to use or attempt to use another person’s password, (d) not to collect or store personal data about anyone, (e) not to infringe any copyright, trademark, patent, or other proprietary rights of any person, (f) not to transmit or facilitate the transmission of unsolicited email (“spam”), (g) not to harass, threaten, or otherwise annoy anyone, and (h) not to act in any way that might be harmful to minors, including, without limitation, transmitting or facilitating the transmission of child pornography, which is prohibited by federal law and may be reported to the authorities should it be discovered by the Archive.

In short, if your material violates YouTube or Facebook community guidelines, you can upload hate (videos, books, posters) to the Internet Archive and not worry about anyone complaining and taking it down.

In general, I am supportive of free speech, but that ends with incitement to hate and violence. There are videos in the Internet Archive with names like “Goyim Goddess Explains Jew Usery” [sic] and “Jew World Order vs Hitler.” Hosting these videos is of course free.

The site is not yet overrun with hate, but there needs to be awareness of this before it happens. European laws against disseminating neo-Nazi materials especially need to be tested against the Internet Archive’s Terms of Use that tries to make the organization blameless for what people upload.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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