Facebook Bans Holocaust Film for Violating Race Policy

In early September, Director Joshua Newton working on the rollout of his Holocaust film beautiful blue eyes When he received a disturbing email. Peter Rupert, a digital media buyer for the film’s distributor MovieFarm, informed Newton that Facebook has banned filmmakers from promoting or advertising the recently-concluded 2009 thriller, which featured Roy Scheider’s final performance on its platform. marks on. The social media giant said the film’s title, which refers to the color of the eyes of a child killed at the hands of the Nazis and invokes an important scene in the film, violates its policy against content that contains “Contains claims or implications, directly or indirectly, of a person’s race,” among other personal characteristics.

The son of two Holocaust survivors, Newton, who based his film on the experiences of his late father, was disgusted.

“It is the action of haters – and sadly there are many in our society – who want to damage the film in order to despise the Holocaust,” Newton said. Rolling stone At the Toronto Film Festival. “Certainly, Mark Zuckerberg did not intend for this to happen.”

The filmmakers appealed, and Facebook upheld the ban in a short message Rupert received. Rolling stone, “Following the requested review of your Facebook account, we have confirmed that it does not comply with our advertising policies or other standards,” the note read. “You can no longer advertise using Facebook products. This is our final decision.” Advertising for the film, including the trailer, was now “permanently banned”.

beautiful blue eyes Centers on an NYPD cop (Scheider) who has been haunted for decades by the murder of his family during World War II. When he thinks he has found the Nazi responsible for his death, he enlists his estranged son to help him exact revenge. It’s unclear how the film’s title violated Facebook’s race policy, as people of any race can have blue eyes. The alleged argument would likely be the subject of promotion for a literary classic like Toni Morrison. the bluest eye for a similar restriction.

The British director believes the ban has significantly curtailed prospects for the film, which opened in 431 theaters in the US on September 9. “Every civilized and sane human on this planet should be concerned with the meta-Facebook ban on advertising movies related to the Holocaust,” Newton says. “Mark Zuckerberg has created a monster that has no oversight. It’s one thing to be flagged by an algorithm. It’s another thing for Meta-Facebook employees to review and maintain the flag, knowing full well that the title is not discriminatory and that the film pertains to the Holocaust.

One of the film’s actors, Alexander Newton, son of the performing director beautiful blue eyes‘ Titanic Song, says they were informed that any advertising or promotion on their artist’s page has also been permanently banned by Facebook and Instagram.

“It’s incredibly ironic [given that] Both the film and the song are about a Holocaust survivor,” says young Newton. Martin Myers, CEO of MovieFarm Rolling stone That ban is “completely outrageous”.

The Facebook ban isn’t the first hurdle Newton has faced with the film. in 2008, jaw Icon Scheider died after battling multiple myeloma before the film was completed. Due to a camera problem, some shots were lost. But the director used AI technology developed in recent years to repair the damaged frames, allowing him to edit and release the film as originally envisioned.

Facebook ads have become a major component of any movie launch, especially short films that cannot place on broadcast commercials or highly visible billboards. It’s unusual for Facebook to ban ads for a movie. In rare exceptions, Facebook removes ads for Amanda Milius’ pro-Trump documentary conspiracy against the president In October 2020, a few weeks before the presidential election. At the time, a Facebook spokesperson told reporters about its policy requiring ads for social issues, elections or politics to take additional steps to cut back.

A Facebook representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook has been blasted by both sides of the political divide for censoring speech and its outsized role as a gatekeeper of ideas. Several posts have been drawn, from criticism of the Chinese government to photos of breastfeeding, sparking backlash and condemnation.

Newton, for his part, says he is now considering his legal options. “Clearly, [Mark Zuckerberg] “Instead of focusing on virtual reality, Zuckerberg should focus on what’s happening in the real world,” says Newton.

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