Facebook To Ban Posts About Holocaust Denial On The Platform In Move Praised By Anti-Hate Groups

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Facebook To Ban Posts About Holocaust Denial On The Platform In Move Praised By Anti-Hate Groups

Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had been urged by Holocaust survivors to remove hate speech content. - Copyright AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the world's biggest social media platform will make moves to remove and halt the spread of material related to holocaust denial. Holocaust denial involves either the denial that the holocaust occurred or that the historical facts of the holocaust are exaggerated.

Over 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis during the holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s. Millions more, including political opponents, gypsies, homosexuals and prisoners of war were also exterminated by the Nazi regime during its pillaging and occupation of Europe during World War II.

The action comes after the pressure group the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany coordinated the #NoDenyingIt campaign that highlighted the racist and antisemitic holocaust denial speech that was still pervading the platform. Much of the hate speech comes from neo-Nazi groups and from the Middle East.

In a post Zuckerberg, who himself is of Jewish origin, said:

"We've long taken down posts that praise hate crimes or mass murder, including the Holocaust. But with rising anti-Semitism, we're expanding our policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust as well. If people search for the Holocaust on Facebook, we'll start directing you to authoritative sources to get accurate information."

He added:

"I've struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust. My own thinking has evolved as I've seen data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech. Drawing the right lines between what is and isn't acceptable speech isn't straightforward, but with the current state of the world, I believe this is the right balance."

Today we're updating our hate speech policy to ban Holocaust denial. We've long taken down posts that praise hate...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, 12 October 2020

Facebook has long been criticized for doing little to remove hate-speech and fake news from its platforms. Though recently, Facebook did move to ban QAnon conspiracy-based groups from posting to the site. The bizarre QAnon conspiracy group believes that President Trump is fighting a secret war behind the scenes against elite paedophiles, the loose network had garnered millions of followers before they were eventually closed down by Facebook.

The Anti-Defamation League released a statement regarding Facebook's new policy saying:

"While Facebook has made numerous positive changes to its policies since that time, it stubbornly had held onto this outrageous platform policy, even in the face of the undeniable threat of growing antisemitism and antisemitic violence around the world. It's a very important statement and it's a building block toward ensuring that this sort of anti-Semitism is not amplified."

Holocaust denial is illegal in most European countries and is punishable with prison sentences. However, such hate-speech is protected in the United States by the constitution.

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Thinking Humanity: Facebook To Ban Posts About Holocaust Denial On The Platform In Move Praised By Anti-Hate Groups
Facebook To Ban Posts About Holocaust Denial On The Platform In Move Praised By Anti-Hate Groups
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the world's biggest social media platform will make moves to remove and halt the spread of material re
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