Facebook this morning announced a significant change in how it approaches Holocaust denial content on its social network. For years, the company has been criticized for not taking down this extremely offensive form of content in favor of allowing free speech and distancing itself from taking on the responsibilities of a traditional publisher.
Today, it’s reversing that position, saying it will now update its hate speech policy to “prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.”
“We have banned more than 250 white supremacist organizations and updated our policies to address militia groups and QAnon,” explained Facebook in an announcement. “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.”
— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) August 26, 2020
Removing Holocaust Denial Content https://t.co/tZU9ZsVB9D
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) October 12, 2020
This has been years in the making. Having personally engaged with @Facebook on the issue, I can attest the ban on Holocaust Denial is a big deal. Whether it’s @ADL & #StopHateForProfit‘s insistence, #NoDenyingIt-it doesn’t matter. Glad it finally happened. https://t.co/Yc2idnv33u
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) October 12, 2020
Facebook just banned Holocaust denial on its site today. This 2018 piece about one of the internet’s biggest history forums explains why the platform got it wrong for so long. https://t.co/kPr0UFuWZt
— Slate (@Slate) October 12, 2020
Facebook announcing they’ve stopped letting Holocaust denial content be spread on their platform is like announcing you’ve stopped deliberately shitting your pants. I mean, good, I’m glad you stopped that, but you really shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place.
— Bethany Black Death (@BeffernieBlack) October 12, 2020