Facebook bans content that 'denies or distorts the Holocaust'

The social media giant said it had made the decision partly because of ‘the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust’


Facebook has confirmed that is has updated its hate speech policy to prohibit any content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust.”

A statement by the social media giant said it had made the decision because of the “well-documented rise in antisemitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.”

Monika Bickert, Facebook’s VP of Content Policy, pointed to a  recent survey of adults in the US aged 18-39 in which almost a quarter said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, that it had been exaggerated or they weren’t sure.

Ms Bickert added: ”Institutions focused on Holocaust research and remembrance, such as Yad Vashem, have noted that Holocaust education is also a key component in combatting antisemitism.”

Beginning later this year, we will direct anyone to credible information off Facebook if they search for terms associated with the Holocaust or its denial on our platform.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg added: “I’ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimising or denying the horror of the Holocaust. My own thinking has evolved as I’ve seen data showing an increase in antisemitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech.”

Earlier this year, following consultation with external experts, Facebook announced they had banned antisemitic stereotypes about the collective power of Jews that often depicts them running the world or its major institutions.   

A further ban on more than 250 white supremacist organizations and another update on policies to address militia groups and QAnon conspiracy theories was also announced.

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism co-chairs Andrew Percy MP and Cat McKinnell said: ”We welcome this move. It is the right action to take and about time too.

“Holocaust denial is repugnant and a betrayal of the victims, it’s therefore appropriate that Facebook should not want any semblance of it on its platform.”

The Board of Deputies said the decision was "long overdue" and called for them to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemtism.

Lord John Mann, adviser to the Government on antisemitism, said the decade spent arguing with Facebook over banning Holocaust denial showed "our law on online hate needs strengthening."

The World Jewish Congress said: ”Denying the Holocaust is a tool antisemites use to spread hate and false conspiracies about Jews. This move sends a message that Facebook will no longer allow this ideology.”

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