UNITED STATES— On Monday, October 12, Facebook announced that it will ban content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.
In addition to banning the posts, users who search for terms associated with the Holocaust or its denial will be directed to “credible information” off the platform later this year.
Monika Bickert, VP of Content Policy at Facebook, said in a statement: “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.”
Facebook cited a survery in which nearly 25% of Americans aged 18 to 39 said they thought the Holocaust was a myth or exagertated or weren’t sure.
“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,” wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.
Previously, Zuckerberg stated that he did not remove Holocaust-denying content because he had allowed for the possibility of users making unintentional mistakes.