Facebook to ban Holocaust denial posts

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg announced plans on Monday to ban posts that deny or distort the Holocaust and will start directing users of the network to authoritative sources if they search for information about the Nazi genocide.

The social media giant's CEO said in a blog post that he believed the new hate speech policy strikes the "right balance" between what is and isn't acceptable.

"I've struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust," Zuckerberg wrote. "My own thinking has evolved as I've seen data showing an increase in antisemitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech."

Facebook confirmed it will be a lengthy process before the new policy is fully implemented as it will need time to train reviewers and systems to enforce the fresh approach.

The shift in policy comes after moves by Holocaust survivors targeted Zuckerberg, urging him to take action to take down posts that deny the Nazi genocide.

The push has been coordinated by the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The organization drove a campaign on Facebook itself using the hashtag #NoDenyingIt as survivors of the genocide appealed to Zuckerberg, posting one video per day calling for the removal of Holocaust-denying groups, pages and writings.

Zuckerberg previously courted controversy

Zuckerberg had angered the Claims Conference, among others, in 2018 when he told tech website Recode that posts denying the Nazi annihilation of 6 million Jews would not necessarily be removed. He said that as long as posts were not calling for harm or violence, even offensive content should be permitted.

However, Zuckerberg, who is Jewish himself, later clarified his position by saying that while he personally found "Holocaust denial deeply offensive" he believed that "the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech."

Source: dw