Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday the platform will ban any content that denies or twists the Holocaust, mentioning an increase in anti-Semitism.
“I’ve struggled with tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” Zuckerberg stated. “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’s and isn’t acceptable speech isn’t straightforward, but with the current state of the world, I believe this is the right balance,” he continued within the announcement.
Before the announcement, Facebook removed posts that encouraged hate crimes and mass murder, which consistent with the Holocaust, consistent with the Associated Press (AP). Though, the new policy will reportedly forbid content that denies or distorts the Holocaust and can instead redirect users to “authoritative sources to urge accurate information.”
The move comes after Holocaust survivors round the world launched the #NoDenyingIt Campaign in July which posted one video per day urging Zuckerberg to get rid of Holocaust-denying groups, pages, and posts as hate speech, the Associated Press.
During which, Facebook stated the Associated Press that they “take down any posts that celebrate, defends, or attempts to justify the Holocaust,” alongside content that “mocks Holocaust victims, accuses victims of dishonest about the atrocities, spews hate, or advocates for violence against Jewish people in any way.” Facebook added that posts that deny the Holocaust are often removed anyway since they have a tendency to violate one among the aforementioned standards. Zuckerberg has been pressured in the past to require a tough stance against Holocaust denial. In 2018 throughout an interview with Recode, Zuckerberg — who is Jewish — said that while he finds Holocaust denial “deeply offensive,” removing the content all at once could cause an issue if the posts aren’t calling for harm or violence.
“At the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that [Holocaust denial content] down because I think there are things that different people get wrong,” he said Recode. “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong, but I think…as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly and I just don’t think that it’s the right thing say, ‘We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.’”
Zuckerberg later explained that he finds “Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”
The latest survey conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also referred to as the Claims Conference, showed 36% of respondents under the age of 39 believed the entire death count of the Holocaust was less than 2 million, and quite 60% of respondents were unaware that 6 million Jews were systemically killed.
More than 6 million people deceased in Nazi concentration camps. before the Holocaust, there have been more than 9 million Jews existing in Europe. By 1945, two out of three European Jews had been murdered.