Social media giant Facebook recently announced that it will expand its hate speech policies to ban any content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust.”
Axios reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a recent post that the social media giant would be expanding its hate speech policies to ban Holocaust denial. This is a sudden change from an interview that Zuckerberg ave with Kara Swisher on the Recode Decode podcast in 2018 in which he stated that he didn’t believe that Facebook should take down Holocaust denial content because “I think there are things that different people get wrong,” even if unintentionally.
In his post announcing the decision, Zuckerberg explained that he was conflicted about the issue, stating:
“I’ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust. My own thinking has evolved as I’ve seen data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech. 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.”
Zuckerberg’s full post can be seen below:
In a more detailed blog post, Facebook’s VP of Content Policy Monika Bickert stated:
Organizations that study trends in hate speech are reporting increases in online attacks against many groups worldwide, and we continue our efforts to remove it. We have banned more than 250 white supremacist organizations and updated our policies to address militia groups and QAnon. We also routinely ban other individuals and organizations globally, and we took down 22.5 million pieces of hate speech from our platform in the second quarter of this year. Following a year of consultation with external experts, we recently banned anti-Semitic stereotypes about the collective power of Jews that often depicts them running the world or its major institutions.
Today’s announcement marks another step in our effort to fight hate on our services. Our decision is supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people. According to a recent survey of adults in the US aged 18-39, almost a quarter said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, that it had been exaggerated or they weren’t sure.
Read the full blog post here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org