What you need to know
- Twitter has now banned Holocaust denial.
- The company is making a change to its hateful conduct policy to accommodate this.
- Facebook this week made a similar move after years of criticism for its stance on the matter.
Twitter will no longer allow tweets that "deny" or "diminish" the Holocaust, the company shared this week. It will expand its hateful conduct policy to include denial of the genocide.
Speaking to Bloomberg, a Twitter spokeswoman explained the new policy:
We strongly condemn anti-semitism, and hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service. We also have a robust 'glorification of violence' policy in place and take action against content that glorifies or praises historical acts of violence and genocide, including the Holocaust.
It's not happening out of the blue. The change comes after rival social network Facebook made a similar declaration. Now, both major social media companies — despite their previous hesitation — have taken strong stances against anti-semitism and Holocaust denial.
Writing on Monday, Facebook's Monika Bickert, VP of Content Policy shared some of the harm caused by Holocaust denier rhetoric:
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.
As with Facebook, it may also take some time before users begin to see tangible effects from this policy change.