People are really upset over Mark Zuckerberg's refusal to ban Holocaust deniers from Facebook

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took harsh criticism on Wednesday after saying that the social network won’t ban Holocaust deniers from Facebook.
  • Zuckberg said that, although he finds Holocaust denialism deeply offensive, it’s not Facebook’s job to prevent anyone from saying something false, but rather to combat fake news and misinformation that’s spread maliciously.
  • The Anti-Defamation League tweeted that Facebook has a moral and ethical obligation not to allow Holocaust deniers to spread their ideas on the platform.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced resounding criticism on Wednesday after saying that the social network wouldn’t ban people from Facebook for denying the Holocaust.

In a podcast interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that he wouldn’t ban Holocaust deniers from the platform because it’s not Facebook’s job to prevent anyone from saying something false – it’s more focused on stopping misinformation campaigns and other malicious activity.

“I find [Holocaust denialism] 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. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong,” Zuckerberg told Swisher.

In a follow up email to Swisher, which she published in full, Zuckerberg further defended his statements, saying that while Facebook won’t ban users over it, that kind of content gets demoted in the News Feed so fewer people see it.

“Our goal with fake news is not to prevent anyone from saying something untrue – but to stop fake news and misinformation spreading across our services,” the email reads. “If something is spreading and is rated false by fact checkers, it would lose the vast majority of its distribution in News Feed.”

Soon after the transcript of the interview was published, the backlash started. The Anti-Defamation League tweeted a statement from CEO Jonathan Greenblatt that Facebook has a moral and ethical obligation not to allow Holocaust deniers to spread their ideas on the platform.

“Holocaust denial is a willful, deliberate and longstanding deception tactic by anti-Semites that is incontrovertibly hateful, hurtful, and threatening to Jews,” the statement reads.

Greenblat wasn’t alone, with many taking to Twitter and elsewhere to express their concern over Zuckerberg’s remarks. It comes as Facebook’s approach to content moderation has come under scrutiny, as the social network works to clarify what is and isn’t allowed on the platform as it continues to combat fake news – raising questions over Facebook’s role in the spreading of information.

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