October 28, 2020

Facebooks new ban on holocaust denial wont extend to other genocides

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  • Facebook on Monday announced it would ban any content that denies the existence of the Holocaust.
  • The social media company told Bloomberg this policy would not extend to other historical genocides including the Rwandan and Armenian genocides.
  • It did not clarify why denial of these genocides was still allowed on Facebook.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook’s new ban on Holocaust denial won’t extend to other genocides, the company told Bloomberg on Monday.

Facebook said its ban wouldn’t extend to, for example, the Rwandan or Armenian genocides.

Roughly 800,000 ethnic Tutsi people were killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In Turkey between 1914 and 1923, 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire.

Denial of the Armenian genocide is particularly rife, as the Turkish government refuses to recognize it. The US government voted last year to officially recognize the genocide, but it is in a minority of countries that do so.

Facebook did not explain its rationale to Bloomberg for why it was not extending its ban to these and other genocides, and it was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

In its Monday blog post explaining why it was reversing its previous policy to allow Holocaust denial on the platform, Facebook said its decision was “supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.”

It added that Holocaust education is “a key component in combatting anti-Semitism.”

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had previously said that he thought Holocaust denial was abhorrent, but didn’t think it should be censored from the platform.

“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong,” he told Recode in 2018.