Facebook to update hate speech policy, will ban Holocaust denial, distortion content

Facebook Inc said on Monday it was updating its hate speech policy to ban any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.

The social media company also said that starting later this year, it would direct people searching for terms associated with the Holocaust or its denial to credible information off Facebook.

The move comes two years after Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a 2018 interview with tech website Recode said that while he found Holocaust denial deeply offensive, he did not think Facebook should delete such content.

“I`ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” said Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, in a Facebook post on Monday.

“My own thinking has evolved as I`ve seen data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech,” he said.

The World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee praised the decision and said that the move followed ongoing conversations with Facebook.

“For several years, the World Jewish Congress has advocated for Facebook to remove Holocaust denial content from its platform, and has worked with the social media company’s policy teams to review such posts and classify them as hate speech under the company’s community standards,” said the World Jewish Congress in a statement.

“Enforcement of these policies cannot happen overnight,” Facebook said in a blog post. “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.”

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