A debate over freedom of speech on Facebook has shaken up the web this past week. The controversy centers on use of the social media site by such entities as Holocaust denial groups.

In a recent interview with CNN, Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt expressed the site’s desire “to be a place where people can discuss all kinds of ideas, including controversial ones,” but drew the line at groups that incite violent behavior.

The recent removal of two Holocaust denial groups indicates that Facebook is imposing a few caveats on the formerly free-wheeling site.

The Christian Science Monitor:

“It’s been a rocky year for the kids over at Facebook, who have weathered complaints about their new interface, and a wave of assaults from increasingly savvy hackers. The latest debacle? A brawl over free speech.

At issue are pages maintained by a community of Holocaust deniers, which have raised the ire of critics here and abroad. The loudest voice of protest belongs to Brian Cuban, an attorney and the brother of Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban. For months, Cuban has been trying to rally users against the proliferation of public groups such as the “Holocaust is a Holohaux.” Until recently, Facebook management remained silent.”

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