(April 29, 2018 / JNS) The Lawfare Project has brought about the removal of online anti-Semitic content in Spain as part of its legal initiative to combat anti-Semitism throughout Europe.
The Lawfare Project sent cease and desist letters to Google and Yahoo, as well as to hosting companies and a domain registration company that is a subsidiary of WordPress. These companies all provided online access to materials that the Lawfare Project argued violate Spanish law.
The authors of three of the materials at issue took down the content after receiving the cease and desist letters from the Lawfare Project’s Spanish counsel, Ignacio Wenley Palacios.
Two of the items removed were articles published on some of Spain’s most popular conspiracy-theory websites, denying the Holocaust while simultaneously blaming Jews for Nazi atrocities. The third was a thread in a forum that spread the medieval-style blood libel that Jews carry out ritual murders of children.
One of the authors of the content removed has been identified as the leader of a Spanish far-right coalition, who has been a panelist at several Holocaust-denial conferences in Iran and also publishes material denying the crimes of the Syrian regime. Palacios has also reported a Facebook post by this individual and is awaiting Facebook’s response.
In February, the Lawfare Project announced that it had sent cease and desist letters to tech firms in Spain, demanding that they take action to combat the proliferation of extreme anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denial content on their platforms. Tech giants with offices in Spain, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter, have yet to take adequate action.
Google and Yahoo continue to promote Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on their search engines, while Twitter and Facebook have not responded to requests to remove violently anti-Semitic social-media posts. If they do not take rapid action, the Lawfare Project will file lawsuits against them.
The Lawfare Project’s Spanish counsel, Ignacio Wenley Palacios, said: “We are determined to take further steps to demand the enforcement of the law from search engines and social-media platforms, and we will file lawsuits if they continue to tolerate blatantly racist and offensive content, when they have been effectively informed by detailed take-down notices.”
The nonprofit Lawfare Project, headquartered in New York, serves as a legal think tank and litigation fund committed to protecting the civil and human rights of Jewish communities.