Facebook rejects criticism that accuses it of permitting and "promoting" 'holocaust denial' by arguing it removes some content it deems 'hateful' but allows some other because it is protecting "legitimate historical debate".
The Observer | Holocaust | Sunday 16th August 2020
Facebook algorithm found to 'actively promote'
Holocaust denial [skepticism/historical revision]
Similar content is also readily accessible across Twitter, YouTube and Reddit, says UK-based counter-extremist group
Facebook’s algorithm “actively promotes” Holocaust denial [revisionist/skeptical] content according to an analysis that will increase pressure on the social media giant to remove antisemitic [taboo-breaking] content relating to the [alleged] Nazi genocide.
An investigation by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK-based counter-extremist organisation, found that typing “holocaust” in the Facebook search function brought up suggestions for denial pages, which in turn recommended links to publishers which sell revisionist and denial [skeptical] literature, as well as pages dedicated to the notorious British Holocaust denier [WW2 expert and historian] David Irving.
The findings coincide with mounting international demands from Holocaust survivors to Facebook’s boss, Mark Zuckerberg, to remove such material from the site.
Last Wednesday Facebook announced it was banning conspiracy theories about Jewish people “controlling the world”. However, it has been unwilling to categorise Holocaust denial as a form of hate speech...
The ISD also discovered at least 36 Facebook groups with a combined 366,068 followers which are specifically dedicated to Holocaust denial [skepticism/revision] or which host such content. Researchers found that when they followed public Facebook pages containing Holocaust denial [revisionist/skeptical] content, Facebook recommended further similar content.
Jacob Davey, ISD’s senior research manager, said: “Facebook’s decision to allow Holocaust denial [revisionist/skeptical] content to remain on its platform is framed under the guise of protecting legitimate historical debate, but this misses the reason why people engage in Holocaust denial in the first place.
...Researchers also found that Holocaust denial [revisionist/skeptical] content is readily accessible across Twitter, Reddit and YouTube. They identified 2,300 pieces of content mentioning “holohoax” — a term often used by deniers [sketics/revisionists] — on Reddit, 19,000 pieces on Twitter and 9,500 pieces of content on YouTube, all created in the past two years.
A Facebook company spokesperson said:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... ust-denial“We take down any post that celebrates, defends, or attempts to justify the Holocaust. The same goes for any content that mocks Holocaust victims, accuses victims of lying, spews hate, or advocates for violence against Jewish people in any way.
We also remove groups and pages that discuss Holocaust denial from recommendations and references to it in search predictions. While we do not take down content simply for being untruthful, many posts that deny the Holocaust often violate our policies against hate speech and are removed.”