Facebook removed a post from the Anne Frank Center about the Holocaust for “violating standards,” and subsequently apologized for the action.
Facebook removed a post from the Anne Frank Center about the importance of Holocaust education this week. The post, which focused on the lack of state laws that require Holocaust education, was allegedly removed for including photographs of naked Holocaust child victims. The The post, which was made to both Facebook and Twitter, was only removed by Facebook.
“These numbers are alarming, but this is why we do what we do. Currently only 10 states mandate Holocaust and Genocide Education. How do we counter ignorance about the Holocaust with knowledge, compassion, and understanding?” the post read.
These numbers are alarming, but this is why we do what we do. Currently only 10 states mandate Holocaust and Genocide Education. How do we counter ignorance about the Holocaust with knowledge, compassion, and understanding? https://t.co/1xtsNLAKEx
— Anne Frank Center (@AnneFrankCenter) August 21, 2018
After news of the post’s removal spread online, Facebook apologized and put it back up. “@AnneFrankCenter, we put your post back up and sent you a message on FB. We don’t allow nude images of children on FB, but we know this is an important image of historical significance and we’ve restored it,” Facebook said in response to the group on Twitter.
In a statement, the Anne Frank Center blasted Facebook not only for the removal of their post, but for their role in allowing several Holocaust denial pages to remain in operation.
Holocaust denial dehumanizes people. It makes thousands feel unsafe. It violates the very standards Facebook lays out for it users. Yet these hate-filled propaganda pages remain.
We have written to Facebook previously offering to work with them to tackle the spread of Holocaust denial and hate on its platform and to promote education.
If Facebook is serious about its community standards it should start tackling Holocaust denial and not the organizations who are trying to educate people on discrimination, facts, and history.
Some users on social media used the situation to opine on the state of social media content moderation.
Another example for the history books.
1-There is no cheap way to do content moderation well at scale;
2-It's not clear how to do it much better at scale with a lot more investment but;
3-It's guaranteed to be done badly at the level of investment—as a cost center—it gets now. https://t.co/qv4CcyeHJ9
— zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) August 29, 2018
Earlier in August, Facebook deleted a campaign ad from Republican congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng because it included footage from the Cambodian genocide, which her parents survived.
“It is unbelievable that Facebook could have such blatant disregard for the history that so many people, including my own parents, have lived through,” Heng said at the time. “I’m sure it is shocking for some people to hear about this kind of injustice, but this is reality. This is why I wake up every single day with the fight and determination to have a voice and make a difference in my community.”