The Youtube comments I chose to censor

On Monday, I made the worst possible mistake on the Internet: I provoked the ghost of Godwin.

More specifically, I wrote about the Holocaust, and in doing so invited an army of Poles (who seem to be members of a Yahoo! group devoted to ‘Polish Media Issues’) to descend on Paper Treiger in a valiant effort to defend the honor of their motherland.

I found many of the comments generally reasonable, though understandably motivated by the desire to deflect any blame away from Poland:

Hi,
You write that the German Nazi extermination camp Treblinka was largely run by Poles. Can you provide some sources for your statement?
/Artur Szulc

I checked my original source, realized that I could not substantiate that particular claim, and updated my post to reflect that fact.

But other comments were less helpful, in that they failed to address my main point, or failed to address my main point and were also just sort of offensive:

What an absolute load of tripe you have written.
Have you thought about the number of non jewish poles murdered in the holocaust.
Also if Poland was so antisemitic why were there so many jews living there.

It is time that Jews looked in a mirror and took some responsibility for the holocaust. [Goes on to describe how Jews are more at fault than Poles for the Holocaust.]

The whole episode reminded me of my experience posting English-subtitled versions of Jeffrey Goldberg’s favorite Israeli ads. Uploading those files to Youtube meant I was in charge of moderating Youtube comments, a task every uploader takes seriously, as you’ve no doubt noticed.

Now that the commenting has quieted down, I thought it might be fun to finally share some of the ones I had initially decided to keep for myself. Without further ado, Youtube:

fucking jews

Jews suck so bad. They murder everyone and expect world sympathy.

omg I will kill every last one of you jews, haha! Victory will be the White Mans

thanks for posting .. it is very important all people see this .. King David Burns in Hell. While Alexander the Great is known world wide as the best leader of all time. Convert to Judaism ..HAHA.. like i want my kid growing up celebrating the death and slaughterof people., the Slavery and subversion of people.. no no i will not be ‘coming back to Israel”

Fuck Israel

die jews go die die die

Hey Guyz, come back and help us kick people off of their land and either treat them like animals or just kill them if that’s too much effort

Reminds me of a nazi propanganda from the 1930’s for all true aryans return to the fatherland.

And, of course, one related comment that did not appear on Youtube:

Attacking women for being women, you are an ignorant asshole, people like you dilute the beauty that is america, LEAVE!

No, that last quote wasn’t actually censored, and yes – I do love it.

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8 thoughts on “The Youtube comments I chose to censor”

  1. I am sorry to hear of the idiots on YouTube. I am one of the moderators of the Polish Media Issues group. My role is to police the group itself not what members do beyond it. Still if you have any reasons to believe a PMI member is sending you that type of material from YouTube then do let me know as threats and that type of language are totally unacceptable.

    Some of the comments on your article on alleged Polish complicity in the Holocaust don’t reflect my views but as you put it they are “sort of offensive”. As it not my job to police the internet, I may be pushing it to take action about them.

    I can share with you my reasoning on why I believe that Poland is not responsible for the Holocaust but is for other crimes against Jews. Still I don’t want come across as bullying you hence will await a reply by you.

    I am sorry for any suffering you family had at the hands of Poles. Much as disagree with your article, I appreciate you being open to debate.

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    1. Don’t worry, I understand how the internet works (i.e. who is responsible – or not – for what), and everything you have contributed here has been respectful and constructive. The comments from what I presume were members of your group are not in the same league as the Youtube video, they were just a useful starting point for the rest of this post.

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      1. “More specifically, I wrote about the Holocaust, and in doing so invited an army of Poles (who seem to be members of a Yahoo! group devoted to ‘Polish Media Issues’) to descend on Paper Treiger in a valiant effort to defend the honor of their motherland.”

        Then you should remove your post that places blame on this particular group. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this post.

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      2. After incorporating some of the changes suggested by the more reasonable among those commenters, I feel the post reflects now reflects what I was trying to communicate, and I stand by it. I’m open to more adjustments. I see no reason to take it down.

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  2. I hate haters of any kind. I also hate when people lie. The antisemitic comment above is horrible; but how do you know it was a Polish person who wrote it? It could be an idiot from any country that just happen to comment on your article about Poland. Of course you don’t say straight that it was a Polish person, but you clearly suggest it. Even if it was not your intention to do it, anyone who reads this article will think this way. Looks like spreading hatred against Poles from my point of view.
    The thing is people from the West don’t really learn about Poland’s history and don’t know anything about it. It’s very strange that you can never hear (almost) about, let’s say, the Czechs, who collaborated with Hitler (so their country has not been destroyed and is still beautiful) or countries like France, who officially sent its Jews to Treblinka. If you get to know more about Poland and the tragic history of the people, you will realise that anti-Polonism really exist sand is quite common. It’s ‘strange’ that you can’t (not YOU in particular) say a single bad word about a Jewish or black person, but you can say anything about the Polish and that is OK. Nobody stands up for this nation of heroes and victims, everyone tends to blame them for things they didn’t do.

    I hadn’t heard about the Warsaw Uprising (but I heard about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising) before I came to Poland and met my boyfriend, who is Polish. I visited the museum and I read “Rising ’44” by Norman Davies. I was shocked and cried a lot.
    I am not saying you should fall in love in Poland. But since you seem reasonable (when I was commenting for the first time, I thought you would write me back a hateful and aggressive comment; I am glad you are not like most of these anti-Polish people; and thank you for that). If you’re interested in history and want to write similar articles in future and want them to be objective, I really highly recommend that book by Davies. It’s not only about the Rising, but about the whole war.
    There is a lot of facts the people from the Western countries don’t know about Poland and it seem like they don’t want to know. How the Great Britain,France and US betrayed Poles, how they fought alone and were murded while their allies were pretending nothing was happening.
    The book is big, but it is really worth reading.

    The Polish nation deserves the most respect, more than other countries in Europe (in the WW2 context) and you can only write about shameful things if you are aware of the good ones.
    FYI, I am half-Jewish and have no connections to Poles, except for my boyfriend.

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