Facebook on Monday announced it will now ban all content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust” in a move that reverses an earlier policy implemented to allow for the possibility that users of the social-media platform make unintentional mistakes. In a statement announcing the policy change, Facebook said the decision was supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism around the world and the “alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.” The post also cited a survey’s results that suggest about 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 39 believe the Nazi genocide that killed at least 6 million was fabricated or exaggerated.
“I’ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Monday post about the policy change. “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. Drawing the right lines between what is and isn’t acceptable speech isn’t straightforward, but with the current state of the world, I believe this is the right balance.“ In a 2018 interview, Zuckerberg admitted his social-media platform did not remove Holocaust-denying content because it must allow for the possibility that some Facebook users are making unintentional mistakes. “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong,” Zuckerberg said.