What you need to know
- Facebook's hate speech policy now covers denial of the Holocaust.
- The change in policy comes two years after CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended deniers "right to be wrong."
- It will also now direct users to credible Holocaust information if they search for Holocaust linked terms on the platform.
Facebook today announced that it would be banning Holocaust denial off its platform. It has now updated its hate speech policy to include content that "denies or distorts the Holocaust."
Monika Bickert, VP of Content Policy said on Monday:
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.
Institutions focused on Holocaust research and remembrance, such as Yad Vashem, have noted that Holocaust education is also a key component in combatting anti-Semitism. 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.
Previously, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg had adopted a controversial platform on Holocaust denial. Speaking to Recode's Kara Swisher, he had said, "Everyone gets things wrong and if we were taking down people's accounts when they got a few things wrong, then that would be a hard world for giving people a voice and saying that you care about that."
The company's change in position is one which launched to a mixed reception online with some lauding it and others wondering why it took so long.
It'll take time before users can see substantial effects from those changes, Bickert added:
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. We are grateful to many partners for their input and candor as we work to keep our platform safe.