Technology

Facebook to remove content denying the Holocaust

Facebook on Monday announced that it would remove content denying or distorting the Holocaust from its platform after facing years of pressure on the issue.

The company will begin directing users that search for terms associated with the Holocaust to credible information from third-party sources later this year.

Facebook has long faced pressure to take action against the bevy of conspiracy theories diminishing or denying the killing of 6 million Jews by Nazis.

Content that praised the Holocaust was previously banned.

“But with rising anti-Semitism, we’re expanding our policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust as well,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in blog post on Monday.

Zuckerberg had come under intense scrutiny in 2018 for defending the right of Holocaust deniers to post on his platform.

“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive,” he told New York Times contributing opinion writer Kara Swisher on a podcast. “But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

On Monday, Zuckerberg said that his view of the topic “evolved” with “data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence.”

“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,” he said.

In a blog post, Facebook pointed toward a recent survey that found that U.S. adults under 40 lack “basic” knowledge of the Holocaust.

In the national survey, 63 percent of U.S. adults between 18-39 years old did not know that 6 million Jews were killed, with 36 percent believing “two million or fewer Jews” were killed. 

Tags anti-Semistim Facebook Holocaust deniers Mark Zuckerberg

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