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Facebook bans Holocaust denial content from its platform

The company says the update to its hate speech policy is meant to fight anti-Semitism

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Photo (c) David Tran - Getty Images
Facebook took another step towards eliminating hate speech from its social media platform on Monday. In a company blog post, vice president of Content Policy Monika Bickert said that Facebook will no longer allow content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust.”

Bickert said the change in policy is meant to oppose a “well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.” She pointed to recent survey results which showed that around 25 percent of U.S. adults aged 18-39 aren’t sure what to believe about the Holocaust or think that it is exaggerated or entirely fabricated.

The action is the latest in a line of changes Facebook has made to combat various types of hate speech. In June, the platform eliminated hundreds of accounts and groups that were tied to white supremacy. Later this year, Bickert says the company will be directing users who search for information related to anti-Semitism to credible third-party sources where they can learn more.

While the new policy goes into effect today, Bickert notes that it may take time for Facebook to enforce it across the company’s entire platform. 

“Enforcement of these policies cannot happen overnight. There is a range of content that can violate these policies, and it will take some time to train our reviewers and systems on enforcement,” she said. “We are grateful to many partners for their input and candor as we work to keep our platform safe.”

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