Facebook has recently announced that it will remove all content on its platform that denies the Holocaust. The company says this expansion of its hate speech policies is a response to what it calls the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.
Facebook has previously faced strong criticism for letting Holocaust denial content spread freely on its platform.
In addition to removing content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, the company says that, starting later this year, it will direct anyone searching on Facebook for terms related to this topic to credible information supplied by third-party sources.
Facebook VP of content policy, Monika Bickert wrote in a blog post: “Enforcement of these policies cannot happen overnight. There is a range of content that can violate these policies, and it will take some time to train our reviewers and systems on enforcement.”
In a Facebook post today, Zuckerberg said his thinking on the matter had evolved, in part in response to a climate of rising anti-Semitism.
Zuckerberg said: “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.”