US/World News

To Facebook, Holocaust denial’ isn’t anti-Jewish hate speech

(JNS) Facebook, according to an Aug. 10 report, “actively promotes further Holocaust-denial content to that user” and “has been unwilling to recognize Holocaust denial as a form of hate speech against Jews.”

“Hosting the Holohoax: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media,” was released by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a think tank in the United Kingdom. The findings show that not only is Holocaust-denial content available on Facebook, but the social-media network actively lists it through the site’s algorithm. Through a “snowball” method that allows content that starts out with little visibility to become viral, “when a user follows public pages containing Holocaust-denial content, Facebook actively promotes further Holocaust-denial content to that user.” ISD found 415 posts across 283 pages and groups, with an overall user engagement of 32,650, including 10,291 shares. The report also mentions that Twitter has acted against Holocaust denial on its platform, but only in “instances where individuals were using images of Holocaust victims to explicitly attack Jewish people, rather than individuals denying the Holocaust’s occurrence or severity.” Finally, the report lauds YouTube and Reddit for limiting Holocaust-denial content on their platforms.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global social action at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, “welcomes the report.”

“As part of the coalition of [more than] 100 Jewish groups that wrote Facebook, we have submitted an extensive list of problematic antisemitic postings still appearing on their platform and have urged that Facebook adopts the IHRA definition. We expect a meeting with them in the coming days,” he told JNS. “As for Holocaust denial,” he continued, “Rabbi Marvin Hier and I spoke to [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg directly on the issue, and have pressed him and his team to remove any and all postings of this monstrous lie. Much of those postings were removed, but as this study shows too many postings remain.”

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