In a welcome move, Facebook has finally decided to ban content on its website that’s aimed at Holocaust denial. This effectively means it will be applying its hate speech policy to any content that either denies or distorts facts related to the atrocities committed during World War II. Facebook says it has taken the decision looking at a rise in anti-Semitism globally and the “alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.”
The social media company has shared that starting later this year, it will also redirect people searching for terms associated with the Holocaust or its denial to credible information outside of Facebook. The tech giant has cited a recent survey of adults in the United States aged between 18 and 39 that has found almost a quarter of them saying they believed the Holocaust was a myth and that it had been exaggerated or that they weren’t sure about it.
Monika Bickert, Vice President of Content Policy at Facebook said, “Organizations that study trends in hate speech are reporting increases in online attacks against many groups worldwide, and we continue our efforts to remove it. We have banned more than 250 white supremacist organizations and updated our policies to address militia groups and QAnon. We also routinely ban other individuals and organizations globally, and we took down 22.5 million pieces of hate speech from our platform in the second quarter of this year. Following a year of consultation with external experts, we recently banned anti-Semitic stereotypes about the collective power of Jews that often depicts them running the world or its major institutions.”
The World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee have both praised this move move by Facebook.