Facebook reverses previous stance with ban of Holocaust denial
'Our decision is supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally.'
Facebook is cracking down on accounts that post misinformation about the Holocaust.
The company announced Monday it will ban content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust,” and the move comes after CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that the platform didn’t remove Holocaust-denying posts because users are allowed to make mistakes, NBC News reports.
“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” Zuckerberg said in a 2018 podcast interview. “I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong.”
“I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong,” he continued.
In announcing the change, Facebook said: “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.”
Zuckerberg said in the Facebook blog post: “I’ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” he wrote. “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.”
The new policy comes days after Facebook confirmed that all political and issues-based ads will be removed from the platform, immediately following Election Day.
“We’ve known for a long time that the 2020 election in the US would be unlike any other. We’ve been preparing for this election with a unique set of products and policies,” said a statement released by the social media company. Facebook announced the latest updates to its Election 2020 protocol with new changes including the aforementioned ban, theGRIO previously reported.
“In addition, while ads are an important way to express voice, we plan to temporarily stop running all social issue, electoral or political ads in the US after the polls close on November 3, to reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse. We will notify advertisers when this policy is lifted,” Facebook said.
In their statement, Facebook noted that between March and September of 2020 they have worked to remove false information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Presidential Election and other important subjects.
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