Facebook will ban Holocaust denial posts under hate speech policy
New York (CNN Business) Facebook is expanding its hate speech policy to include content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust,” a major shift for the platform, which has repeatedly come under fire for its inaction on hateful and false information.
In announcing the policy change, Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of content policy, wrote in a blog post that the decision was “supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust.”
She cited a recent survey that found almost a quarter of adults in the US between the ages of 18 and 39 believed the Holocaust was a myth.Facebook (FB) will now direct users to credible information if they search for content related to Holocaust denial on its platform.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously said that while he finds Holocaust denial “deeply offensive,” he had maintained that Facebook should not police content.
“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,” Zuckerberg said in a 2018 interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher. “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”
In a Facebook post following Monday’s announcement, Zuckerberg noted that his thinking has evolved after seeing data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence. “I’ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” he wrote, “…but with the current state of the world, I believe this is the right balance.”