Facebook is banning posts that deny or misrepresent the Holocaust and will start directing people to authoritative sources if they seek information about Nazi killings, in the latest move restricting controversial content.
The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the new policy on Monday, the social media giant’s latest attempt to take action against conspiracy theories and misinformation ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.
The decision comes amid a surge by Holocaust survivors around the world who have lent their voices to a campaign targeting Zuckerberg starting this summer, urging him to take action to remove denial posts from the Social media site holocaust.
“I struggled with the tension between defending free speech and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, said in a Facebook post. Monday.
“My own thinking evolved as I saw data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence, as did our broader policies on hate speech,” he said.
Facebook said the new policy “is supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism around the world and the alarming level of ignorance of the Holocaust, especially among young people.”
Surveys have shown that some young American citizens believe the Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated.
About six million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II.
The World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee welcomed the decision.
“For several years, the World Jewish Congress has advocated for Facebook to remove Holocaust denial content from its platform,” the group said in a statement.
This summer, civil rights groups staged a widespread advertising boycott on Facebook in an attempt to pressure social media companies to take action against hate speech on their platforms.
Holocaust denial is hate speech.
Holocaust denial is anti-Semitism.
Holocaust denial is a tool used by anti-Semites to spread hatred and false conspiracies against Jews. This decision sends the message that Facebook will no longer allow this ideology.https://t.co/moD4851kP7
— CMJ (@WorldJewishCong) October 12, 2020
“It took years to prepare. Having personally spoken with @Facebook on the issue, I can attest that the ban on Holocaust denial is a big deal,” tweeted Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, one of the organizers. boycott. “Glad it finally happened,” he added.
It took years in the making. Having made a personal commitment with @Facebook on the issue, I can attest that the ban on Holocaust denial is a big deal. Whether it be @ADL & #StopHateForProfitinsistence, #NoDenyingIt-it does not matter. Glad it finally happened. https://t.co/Yc2idnv33u
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) October 12, 2020
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany also pushed Facebook to ban Holocaust denial content and called on Zuckerberg to meet survivors through his #NoDenyingIt social media campaign.
In August, Facebook banned certain anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and stereotypes.
In his blog postthe society cited a recent survey that found nearly a quarter of American adults between the ages of 18 and 39 said they thought the Holocaust was a myth, that it had been exaggerated, or that they didn’t weren’t sure.
The company said enforcement of its new policies “won’t happen overnight.”
“There is a range of content that may violate these policies, and it will take some time to train our reviewers and systems on the app,” he said.
The move comes two years after Zuckerberg sparked controversy with a 2018 interview with tech website Recode in which he said that while he found Holocaust denial deeply offensive, he didn’t think Facebook should take it down. this content.
Facebook last week said it was removing any group or page that openly identified with QAnon, a conspiracy theory group that holds far-right views but widely believes a cabal of pedophile Satanists run the world. . This decision also applies to Instagram.
The social media giant also announced restrictions on intentional coronavirus misinformation as well as posts designed to suppress voting.
The platform has been under pressure to moderate more content, amid signs that groups like QAnon have been able to gain traction through social media.