In 2018, Facebook’s chief government, Mark Zuckerberg, famously cited Holocaust deniers in a fumbled try to make a degree about free speech.
At the time, he mentioned the deniers — those that reject or distort the Holocaust, a genocide through which tens of millions of Jews and others have been killed by Nazis and their collaborators throughout World War II — have been a key instance of individuals whom he personally disagreed with. But, he mentioned, he didn’t suppose Facebook ought to censor or take away what they posted “because I think there are things that different people get wrong.”
On Monday, Mr. Zuckerberg introduced he was reversing his choice. Facebook, he mentioned, would now ban content material that “denies or distorts the Holocaust.”
In saying the change, Facebook cited a latest survey that discovered that just about 1 / 4 of American adults ages 18 to 39 mentioned they believed the Holocaust both was a fable or was exaggerated, or they weren’t positive whether or not it occurred.
“I’ve struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote in his blog post. “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.”
Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said that he does not want Facebook to be an arbiter of free speech. The Silicon Valley company has faced plenty of criticism for that stance, including from civil rights groups who have said Facebook has allowed toxic speech and misinformation to flow unchecked on its site. Many have called for Mr. Zuckerberg to rethink his position.
More recently, the social network has become more proactive about removing some content, including banning the QAnon conspiracy movement and taking a stronger line against hate and vigilante groups. Facebook has said it has made some of the changes because QAnon has been linked to real-world harm and vigilante groups have been arrested for violent acts.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it was re-evaluating its stance on free speech.