Facebook bans Holocaust denial in updated hate speech policy

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Facebook has announced an update to its policies on hate speech on its platform, particularly on posts and comments regarding the Holocaust.

The company made the announcement in a blog post on 12 October, saying that it will now prohibit any content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust”.

Facebook further detailed that it also recently banned content on its platform that features anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as stereotypes that depict Jewish people as a collective power behind global institutions and forces.

The ban on Holocaust denial in particular follows research showing a rise in anti-Semitism, as well as ignorance around the Holocaust.

“According to a recent survey of adults in the US aged 18-39, almost a quarter said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, that it had been exaggerated or they weren’t sure,” Facebook said.

Facebook is also adding tools to help educate users around the events of the Holocaust. An upcoming feature will redirect users who are searching for terms or queries related to the Holocaust to pages and portals with reliable information.

The company added that it will be training its researchers on its systems to combat hate speech and anti-Semitism. It also plans to continue collaborating with activists, organisations, and research institutions to better understand how people express hate speech online.

This is the latest change the company has made to its hate speech policy, following an advertiser boycott called Stop Hate For Profit earlier this year.

Feature image: Solen Feyissa on Unsplash 

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