Despite public pressure, Amazon has no plans to discontinue anti-Semitic documentaries

Amazon will not work after immense pressure to pull a Holocaust-denying and generally anti-Semitic documentary from its platform, but stand by it.

Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America came to shame after basketballer Kyrie Irving endorsed the documentary as a must-watch on his social media before the Brooklyn Nets suspended it without pay. Hebrews to Negroes channels a mix of pseudoscience, historical misinformation, and biblical literalism in its running time, promoting a narrative deeply skeptical of the Holocaust.

Surprisingly, despite the public outcry, Amazon has no plans to retire it anytime soon. Corresponding diversity, the Jeff Bezos-owned company has no intention of dismantling it, despite its clear problems with inflammatory misinformation, especially amid a rise in anti-Semitic violence around the world. The source states that Amazon has no intention of adding a content warning to the documentary, nor to the books it is based on.

However, that doesn’t mean they won’t dismantle it later. The company’s content policies are quite vague, and their decisions have been overturned in the past. With public pressure on Amazon and the ongoing resurgence of anti-Semitism online among high-profile celebrities, this could become a scenario where they need to do it to save face.

Irving’s appreciation for the documentary saw none other than Kanye West to fight for him — because when you’re embroiled in an anti-Semitism controversy, he’s exactly the one you want in your corner. Conversely, Shaquille O’Neal was far from happy with the situation and took aim at both Irving and West.

Amazon’s reputation for hosting almost anything can often backfire; The fact that seemingly anyone can self-publish on the streaming platform presents a clear dilemma when trying to weed out misinformation and hate speech. There is a fine line between free speech, hate speech and consequences for what you say.

Given the unfortunate resurgence of the anti-Semitism discourse, Amazon has rarely been at its best to grapple with its own role on the issue. Despite public pressure, Amazon has no plans to discontinue anti-Semitic documentaries

Lindsay Lowe

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