Facebook's Thinking Has 'Evolved' on Banning Holocaust Denial

Zuckerberg says material that distorts or denies it will now be banned
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2020 1:09 PM CDT
Facebook Bans Holocaust Denial
Facebook is banning posts that deny or distort the Holocaust and will start directing people to authoritative sources if they search for information about the Nazi genocide.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Facebook's free speech policy no longer extends to Holocaust denial. The company announced Monday that material which "denies or distorts" the Holocaust will be banned, CNBC reports. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he has "struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust," and his thinking has "evolved" amid a rise in anti-Semitic violence. In a blog post, Facebook vice president of content policy Monica Bickert said "the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people," was another big factor in the decision. She said that people who search Facebook for content related to the Holocaust will be directed to "credible information off Facebook."

Facebook also "recently banned anti-Semitic stereotypes about the collective power of Jews that often depicts them running the world or its major institutions," Bickert said. The move follows a Facebook boycott over the site's failure to control hate speech, reports Reuters. Groups including the World Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League praised Facebook for taking action. "This has been years in the making. Having personally engaged with @Facebook on the issue, I can attest the ban on Holocaust Denial is a big deal," tweeted Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the ADL "Glad it finally happened." (Last week, Facebook banned all accounts linked to QAnon.)

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