Facebook is busy deleting posts and groups sharing dangerous conspiracy theories. Fake messages from, for example, QAnon have already been removed, now also messages with Holocaust denial in them.
The company announced this measure on Monday, October 12. In the message itself, the site says that it will remove “any message that denies or distorts the Holocaust.”
The move comes after years of pressure from Jewish groups and organizations following and reporting messages with these theories. Facebook also reported that there has been a global rise in anti-Semitism recently, which is another reason for Facebook to take a tougher approach to these types of messages.
The social network highlighted a disturbing new study that found that a quarter of adults in the US between the ages of 18 and 39 “believed the Holocaust was a myth, that it was an exaggeration, or that they were not sure”.
Facebook’s move was welcomed by some groups working with the company to combat hate speech.
“By taking the critical step of removing Holocaust denial messages, Facebook is showing that it recognizes Holocaust denial for what it really is – a form of anti-Semitism and thus hate speech,” Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said in a statement. statement. Denying the Holocaust, downplaying it, minimizing it, is something that is being used to spread hatred and false conspiracies on Jews and other minorities. The announcement shows that Facebook will not allow their platform to be used to hate. ”
The statement by the World Jewish Congress notes that the organization, which claims to represent Jewish communities in 100 countries, has pushed Facebook to remove Holocaust denial from its platform.
Remove more often
Facebook has taken a much stronger stance on hate speech and harmful conspiracy theories in recent months. For example, the company removed pages from aggressive groups in August and it was said last summer that posting photos with Jewish stereotypes and blackface was no longer allowed.
Also in the past, before the ban, Facebook has talked about many of these issues. Mark Zuckerberg, for example, said in a 2018 interview with Vox that he was not okay with this sort of thing being spread, but also said that he thinks the people sharing that kind of content are mistaken and that they are not spreading it on purpose. .
The ban went into effect on Monday, October 12, but the company says their assessing AI still needs to be trained to recognize this type of content.