Facebook reports that it will take some time before enforcement of the ban on Holocaust denial is in order. For example, employees who check messages for so-called hate speech must be trained.
Anti-Semitic stereotypes have also been banned
After a year of consultation with experts, the platform recently decided to make anti-Semitic stereotypes, for example about the alleged world power of Jews, taboo.
Later this year, anyone searching Facebook about the Holocaust or its denial will be directed to credible websites. The decision to also ban disinformation about the Holocaust is partly due to the rise in anti-Semitism worldwide, Facebook says.
Lack of knowledge in young people
Another factor is that the lack of knowledge about the Holocaust is taking on “alarming” proportions, especially among young people. For example, nearly a quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 40 said in a recent survey that they believe the Holocaust is a myth, that genocide is being exaggerated, or that they are unsure about it.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg says he has pondered the tension between free speech and the damage that denial or trivializing the “horror” of the Holocaust does. He has come to the ban partly due to the increase in anti-Semitic violence. According to him, a “good balance has now been found”. The World Jewish Congress is pleased with the move.
It was already illegal in the Netherlands
Holocaust denial is illegal in the Netherlands, but also in countries such as Belgium, Germany and France. Facebook has already deleted messages about this under the legislation in these countries. Messages praising, defending or justifying the Holocaust have also been taken offline. This also applies, for example, to content in which Holocaust victims are mocked. Calls for violence are prohibited in any case.
The Nazis murdered about 6 million people in extermination camps and gas chambers in the 1930s and 1940s. Many of them were Jewish.
Facebook has already banned more than 250 organizations that have posted racist messages online. In the second quarter alone, 22.5 million hate messages were taken offline.