Tuesday, October 27, 2020

This post was originally published on NPR - Technology

Home Tech Facebook Bans Holocaust Denial, Reversing Earlier Policy

Facebook Bans Holocaust Denial, Reversing Earlier Policy

-

This post was originally published on NPR - Technology

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his thinking has “evolved” on how to balance free speech and the harms of Holocaust denial. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook is banning all content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust,” in a policy reversal that comes after increased pressure from critics.

Just two years ago, founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview that even though he finds such posts “deeply offensive,” he did not believe Facebook should take them down. Zuckerberg has said on numerous occasions that Facebook shouldn’t be forced to be the arbiter of truth on its platform, but rather allow a wide range of speech.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Zuckerberg said his thinking has “evolved” because of data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence. The company said it was also in response to an “alarming” level of ignorance among young people.

“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. “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.”

In addition to removing Holocaust-denying posts, Facebook will begin directing users who search for terms associated with the Holocaust or its denial to “credible information” off the platform later this year, Monika Bickert, head of content policy, said in a blog post. She said it would take “some time” to train Facebook’s enforcement systems to enact the change.

Facebook has been under increased pressure to act more aggressively on hate speech, misinformation and other harmful content. The company has recently strengthened its rules to prohibit anti-Semitic stereotypes, and banned accounts related to militia groups and QAnon, a baseless conspiracy theory movement.

This summer, a group of Holocaust survivors, organized by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, launched a social media campaign urging Zuckerberg to remove Holocaust denial from Facebook.

On Monday, the group tweeted: “Survivors spoke! Facebook listened.”

Editor’s note: Facebook is among NPR’s financial supporters.

LEAVE A REPLY

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Whole Foods

Must Read

New York Times: Tax records show Trump had over $270 million...

0
President Donald Trump has had more than $270 million in debt forgiven since 2010 after he failed to repay his lenders for a Chicago...