Oct. 12 (UPI) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Monday that the company will update its hate speech policy to ban Holocaust denial.
Zuckerberg made the announcement in a Facebook post.
“We’ve taken down posts that praise hate crimes or mass murder, including the Holocaust. But with rising anti-Semitism, we’re expanding our policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust as well,” the post read. “If people search for the Holocaust on Facebook, we’ll start directing you to authoritative sources to get accurate information.”
The update reverses Facebook’s earlier policy on the issue.
In 2018, Zuckerberg said in a Recode Decode podcast interview that the social media company does not want to ban Holocaust denial posts because people should be able to make unintentional mistakes.
“I don’t think they’re intentionally getting it wrong,” Zuckerberg said on the podcast at the time.
Facebook has announced a ban on content that denies or distorts the Holocaust. The policy marks a reversal on how to handle a disturbing category of posts that CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said should not be blocked on the platform even though they’re false.
The company updated its hate speech policy to prohibit such content, Monika Bickert, VP of Content Policy at Facebook, said in a statement 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,” she said.
Groups that track hate speech “are reporting increases in online attacks against many groups worldwide, and we continue our efforts to remove it,” Bickert said.
The company says it removed 22.5 million pieces of hate speech shared on its platform in the second quarter of this year alone. Facebook has also banned more than 250
Children photographed inside the Auschwitz concentration camp on January 27, 1945. Credit – TASS via Getty Images
Facebook updated its rules on Monday to explicitly ban any content that “denies or distorts” the Holocaust, after years of allowing people to deny that the genocide occurred.
The move reverses Facebook’s previous stance, which was articulated by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in years of interviews as not wanting his company to be an arbiter of truth.
“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong,” he told Vox’s Recode in 2018.
Zuckerberg’s position, and Facebook’s, has “evolved” since then, he said in a Facebook post published