Zuckerberg's sister weighs in on Holocaust denial

Randi Zuckerberg denounces Holocaust deniers but appears to agree with her brother on not deleting their posts.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff,

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Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, on Friday weighed in on his controversial comments about Holocaust deniers on the social media platform, JTA reported.

Zuckerberg, who previously served as director of marketing for Facebook and is the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, denounced Holocaust deniers, citing “their hateful, disgusting rhetoric.”

She appeared to agree with her brother, however, adding that banning such people from social media “will not make them go away.”

“As a leader in the Jewish community, and someone who has worked at the ground floor of social media, I felt a responsibility to weigh in,” she wrote in remarks to CNN.

She mentioned her involvement in Birthright Israel, PJ Library, Reboot, the Wexner Foundation, the Shalom Hartman Institute, San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum and “JCCs and Federations across the U.S. and Canada.”

Zuckerberg said her brother “could have chosen his words apparently.” She said, however, the difficulty of “navigating this incredibly difficult new world where the notion of free speech is constantly changing.”

Citing the positive effect that Facebook has had on the Jewish community, she lamented that the platform has become a tool for detractors as well.

“Unfortunately, when we give a voice to everyone, we give it to people who use that voice for good and to people who abuse that voice,” she wrote. “Organizations doing impactful work now have more powerful tools than ever before, yet the nasty dark underbelly that exists right beneath the surface has access to those exact same tools.”

She suggested that a national debate was needed on Holocaust deniers’ right to a platform.

“As much as I disagree with Holocaust deniers having a voice at all, the reality is that it is not currently considered a crime in the United States, and if we want our social networks to remove this hateful speech and follow the lead of many countries in Europe who denounce it as criminal, we need to expand the conversation more broadly and legislate at a national level,” she wrote.

“I wish that these platforms didn’t give a voice to those who cry out for divestment from Israel, make anti-Jewish remarks, and many of the other issues affecting our community today. But silencing everyone — or worse, silencing selectively — would be far more nefarious.”

Mark Zuckerberg caused an uproar this week when he told the Recode website that Facebook would not remove the posts of Holocaust deniers because they could include people who “aren’t intentionally getting it wrong.” He said Facebook would only make sure such posts would not get high visibility.

He later clarified his remarks, stressing he finds Holocaust denial “deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”

“Our goal with fake news is not to prevent anyone from saying something untrue — but to stop fake news and misinformation spreading across our services. If something is spreading and is rated false by fact checkers, it would lose the vast majority of its distribution in News Feed. And of course if a post crossed line into advocating for violence or hate against a particular group, it would be removed. These issues are very challenging but I believe that often the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech,” added the Facebook founder.

In response, the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) called on Facebook to take immediate steps to bar Holocaust deniers from the popular social media site.

Germany, meanwhile, issued a withering critique of Zuckerberg’s comments, stating that such a policy was contrary to German law.

“There must be no place for anti-Semitism. This includes verbal and physical attacks on Jews as well as the denial of the Holocaust,” Justice Minister Katarina Barley said. “The latter is also punishable by us and will be strictly prosecuted.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)


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