Facebook bans Holocaust denial in policy U-turn

Facebook has made a significant update to its hate speech policies by banning any content that denies the Holocaust.

Previously, Facebook allowed content related to the denial or distortion of the Holocaust, despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself finding the content offensive. However, as part of the social network’s overall new approach to hate speech, it’s decided to make a U-turn in response to rising levels of anti-Semitism around the world.

The move comes days after the social network moved to ban all groups, pages, and accounts related to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

“We have banned more than 250 white supremacist organisations and updated our policies to address militia groups and QAnon. We also routinely ban other individuals and organizations globally, and we took down 22.5m pieces of hate speech from our platform in the second quarter of this year,” said Monika Bickert, Vice President of Content Policy at Facebook, in a blog post. “Following a year of consultation with external experts, we recently banned anti-Semitic stereotypes about the collective power of Jews that often depicts them running the world or its major institutions.  

“Today’s announcement marks another step in our effort to fight hate on our services.”

Alongside the ban on Holocaust denial, Facebook will begin to direct people toward credible information if they search for terms associated with the Holocaust or its denial from later this year.