Washington [US], October 12 (ANI): Facebook has announced it would remove all content that "denies or distorts the Holocaust."
This expansion of its hate speech policies is a response to 'the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people', said the company.
According to The Verge, Facebook has previously faced strong criticism for letting Holocaust denial content spread freely on its platform.
Later this year, the company will direct anyone searching on its platform for terms related to this topic to 'credible information' supplied by third-party sources, reported The Verge.
"Enforcement of these policies cannot happen overnight. There is a range of content that can violate these policies, and it will take some time to train our reviewers and systems on enforcement," said Monika Bickert, Facebook's Vice President of content policy, in a blog post.
Earlier this year, Facebook had said it would ban anti-Semitic stereotypes that depict Jewish people as "running the world or its major institutions." But a report a week later by a UK counter-extremism group, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), found that the company's algorithm 'actively promotes' Holocaust denial content.
Removing content that denies or distorts the Holocaust may seem like an obvious decision for a company that is frequently accused of enabling hate speech. But in the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, has presented the company's tolerance of Holocaust denial as an example of its commitment to principles of free speech, stated The Verge.
In a recent Facebook post, Zuckerberg said his thinking on the matter had 'evolved,' in part in response to a climate of 'rising anti-Semitism.'
"I have struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimising or denying the horror of the Holocaust," said Zuckerberg. "My own thinking has evolved as I have 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."
The Holocaust was the state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women, and children by the Nazis in Germany under Adolf Hitler during World War II. (ANI)