Face­book ‘ac­tively pro­mot­ing’ posts that back Holo­caust de­nial

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By James Cook

FACE­BOOK has been ac­cused of “ac­tively pro­mot­ing” Holo­caust de­nial posts to its users, in a study of posts on the so­cial net­work.

The In­sti­tute for Strate­gic Di­a­logue pub­lished re­search that found 415 Face­book posts deny­ing that the Holo­caust took place.

The posts were made by 283 pages and groups on Face­book and had been shared on the site more than 10,000 times.

Face­book posts re­viewed by the ISD in­cluded false claims that “not one sin­gle Jew died in a gas cham­ber” and that some in­for­ma­tion about the im­pact of the Holo­caust had been “ex­ag­ger­ated quite a bit”.

Face­book pages and groups which con­tained the Holo­caust de­nial posts had 366,000 fol­low­ers and mem­bers, with one group alone hav­ing 88,000 mem­bers.

Re­searchers claimed that view­ing some Face­book pages and groups re­sulted in rec­om­men­da­tions for pages about David Irv­ing, the prom­i­nent Holo­caust de­nier, as well as sites sell­ing Holo­caust de­nial lit­er­a­ture.

The re­search also found 2,300 posts on so­cial me­dia web­site Red­dit and 19,000 posts on Twit­ter that men­tioned the “holo­hoax”, a pop­u­lar term among Holo­caust de­niers.

The in­sti­tute said Red­dit had been able to hide many Holo­caust de­nial posts on its site be­cause of a pol­icy of banning cer­tain com­mu­ni­ties and dele­tion of com­ments.

A Face­book spokesman said: “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.

“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. In coun­tries where it is il­le­gal, such as Ger­many, France and Poland, this con­tent is not al­lowed in ac­cor­dance with the law.”

A Twit­ter spokesman said: “As out­lined in the Twit­ter Rules, we do not tol­er­ate tar­geted in­stances of hate­ful con­duct, in­clud­ing mak­ing ref­er­ences to vi­o­lent events or types of vi­o­lence where pro­tected cat­e­gories were the pri­mary vic­tims, or at­tempts to deny or di­min­ish such events.

“We also have a ro­bust glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of vi­o­lence pol­icy in place, and take ac­tion against con­tent that glo­ri­fies or praises the Holo­caust.”

A Red­dit spokesman did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

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