Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomes Facebook's decision on Holocaust denial

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center applauds Facebook's decision to update its hate speech policy to ban Holocaust denial and distortion.

Elad Benari ,

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) on Monday applauded Facebook's decision to update its hate speech policy to ban Holocaust denial and distortion.

"This decision by Facebook to update its hate speech policy to include a ban on Holocaust denial and distortion is a major step forward in the fight against antisemitism on social media, at a time when hate targeting Jews is thriving online," said Michael Levitt, FSWC president and CEO.

"It's time for all social media platforms to enforce a strict prohibition on Holocaust denial and other forms of antisemitism, which continue to fester online and have contributed to the increase in real-world violent attacks against Jewish people around the world," he added.

The announcement was made earlier on Monday by Facebook and its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who also stated that anyone searching for the Holocaust on Facebook will be directed to "authoritative sources to get accurate information."

Facebook was responding to a campaign by Holocaust survivors urging Zuckerberg to take action to remove Holocaust denial posts from the social media site.

Co-ordinated by the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the #NoDenyingIt campaign uses Facebook itself to make the survivors’ entreaties to Zuckerberg heard, posting one video per day urging him to remove Holocaust-denying groups, pages and posts as hate speech.

Zuckerberg raised the ire of the Claims Conference and others with comments in 2018 to the tech website Recode that posts denying the Nazi annihilation of 6 million Jews would not necessarily be removed.

He said at the time he did not think Holocaust deniers were “intentionally” getting it wrong, and that as long as posts were not calling for harm or violence, even offensive content should be protected.

After an outcry, Zuckerberg clarified that while he personally found “Holocaust denial deeply offensive” he believed that “the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech.”