Wiesenthal Center Rebukes Mark Zuckerberg For Saying Facebook Won’t Delete Holocaust Denial Posts
July 18, 2018
Center official says “Holocaust denial is the quintessential ‘fake news’"
The Simon Wiesenthal Center today criticized Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's comments that they would allow posts denying the Holocaust to stay posted on the social network. In an interview for Recode.net, Zuckerberg said that while he found Holocaust denial to be offensive, “…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…” He also said that as long as posts are not organizing harm against others, “then you can put up that content on your page, even if people might disagree with it or find it offensive.” (image from the Center's Digital Terrorism and Hate 2018 Report)
“Mark Zuckerberg is wrong. Holocaust deniers only come in two flavors-- those who don’t want to believe there was an Auschwitz and those who want to finish the job, like Iran,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action.
After a 2009 meeting--which Cooper says was the first recognition by any social media platform that they had a responsibility to deal with “fake news”—the Wiesenthal Center got a commitment from Facebook officials that Holocaust denial posted on behalf of states like Iran for propaganda purposes to denigrate Jews would be removed
“Holocaust denial is the quintessential ‘fake news’. The Nazi Holocaust is the most documented atrocity in history, allowing the canard of Holocaust denial to be posted on Facebook, or any other social media platform cannot be justified in the name of 'free exchange of ideas' when the idea itself is based on a falsehood,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).