A campaign was launched by Holocaust survivors on Jul 29th, Wednesday, to urge Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to remove posts from the site that deny the Nazi genocide of Jews.
Anne Frank’s stepsister, along with other holocaust survivors from around the globe, have recorded 30-second messages that are then posted on social media, including Instagram and Twitter, with the hashtag #NoDenyingIt.
Hundreds of advertisers have boycotted Facebook as a result from the online campaign, as part of a call for them to take more aggressive action against toxic and inflammatory content that promotes violence and hate.
Eva Schloss, Frank’s stepsister, says in her video “I lost all my family. Many, many family members. There is no denying it! Remove Holocaust denial from Facebook!”
84-year-old Serge Klarsfeld, a prominent so-called Nazi hunter who has helped track down and expose Nazi war criminals, were among other survivors who have contributed to the project.
The New York-based Conference organized the campaign based on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Compensation from the German government was requested by the non-profit works along with the return of Jewish property stolen by the Nazis.
Controversy was sparked in 2018 by Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, when he argued that Facebook posts denying that the Nazis killed six million Jews should not be filtered out.
Zuckerberg said that while Facebook was dedicated to stopping the spread of fake news, it would not filter out posts just on the basis of being factually wrong during an interview with tech website Recode.
He said he didn’t think deniers were “intentionally getting it wrong” even though he found Holocaust denial “deeply offensive.”
Hatred and violence could be incited by these types of comments according to critics, while they lashed out at Zuckerberg, pointing out that Holocaust denial was “quintessential fake news.”
Facebook said in a statement that countries like Germany, France and Poland, will have posts that deny the Holocaust removed, as it is illegal there. Facebook monitors such posts to determine whether they violate the site’s guidelines in the US and Britain, where Holocaust denial is not illegal, because of free speech laws.
“We take down any post that celebrates, defends, or attempts to justify the Holocaust,” a spokesperson said. Advertising on Facebook has been temporarily paused by nearly 1,000 advertisers, including famous brands like Coca-Cola, Hershey and Adidas, saying the leading social network site needs to better police hate speech.
Organizers vowed to press on with the boycott earlier this month, saying Zuckerberg and other top executives, have failed to offer any meaningful action on curbing hateful content.
Facebook has steadfastly refused to fact-check political speech and has a largely hands-off policy on comments from world leaders, but says it is committed to freeing the site of hate speech.
Facebook removed a Trump campaign ad featuring a Nazi symbol recently and made other changes. Posts from world leaders that violate its policies will remain accessible because they are “newsworthy” although according to the company, such posts would be tagged by Facebook.
An independent audit commissioned by Facebook back in 2018 found this month that the California giant had undermined civil rights by allowing Trump to make posts that violate the network’s values.
30th July 18:30
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