Facebook has announced an update to its hate speech policy, banning Holocaust denial content on its platform.
Less than a week after it announced a full ban on QAnon, and the removal of related pages, groups, and Instagram accounts, Facebook is now announcing an update to its hate speech policy, banning all Holocaust denial content. However, Facebook said that enforcement “cannot happen overnight” as it takes time to train reviewers and moderation systems.
Back in 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that his company wouldn’t be banning Holocaust denial despite it being “deeply offensive.” The decision to finally ban related content comes at a time when online attacks against various groups around the world are increasing, so it’s good that Facebook is looking to eradicate all kinds of hateful content.
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“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,” explains Monika Bickert, VP of Content Policy. “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.”
In the last year, Facebook has also banned “anti-Semitic stereotypes” like “the collective power of Jews” who supposedly run the world and/or its major institutions. More recently, it banned around 250 white supremacist organizations and updated its platform policies to address QAnon and Militarized Social Movements.
In terms of enforcement, Facebook says it “took down 22.5 million pieces of hate speech” in Q2 2020.