Holocaust survivors urge Facebook to crack down on deniers
Holocaust survivors are demanding Facebook remove posts denying that the genocide they escaped ever happened.
The survivors are speaking out in a social-media campaign launched Wednesday by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which argues that Facebook has been too lenient towards Holocaust deniers.
The Claims Conference plans to post a new video on Facebook each day with a survivor urging CEO Mark Zuckerberg to rid the platform of Holocaust denial content. The messages will also appear on Facebook-owned Instagram and Twitter.
Survivors participating in the “#NoDenyingIt” campaign include Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s stepsister who survived the Auschwitz death camp, and Roman Kent, who lived through the Lodz ghetto and multiple concentration camps. Both lost most of their family members to the Nazis’ mass murder campaign.
“You must know that the Holocaust denial if hate dialogue,” Kent, 91, said in his recorded message to Zuckerberg, who he said has a “moral obligation” to remove such content. “There is no denying it, and there is no propagating it.”
The Claims Conference, which negotiates Holocaust victims’ compensation payments from Germany, wants Zuckerberg to meet personally with survivors so they can make their case for why Facebook should crack down on deniers.
The group says Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, has refused to classify Holocaust denial as hate speech, pointing to his 2018 comments that deniers were not “intentionally getting it wrong.” He later tried to clarify his remarks, saying he found Holocaust denial “deeply offensive” and that he did not mean to defend people who hold those views.
Facebook says it removes Holocaust denial content in countries that have outlawed it such as Germany, France and Poland, and monitors posts in other countries to determine whether they break its rules.
“We take down any post that celebrates, defends, or attempts to justify the Holocaust,” Facebook said. “The same goes for any content that mocks Holocaust victims, accuses victims of lying about the atrocities, spews hate, or advocates for violence against Jewish people in any way.”
The campaign comes amid broader criticism of Facebook’s approach to hate speech and civil rights issues. Hundreds of companies have joined an advertising boycott against Facebook’s alleged failure to sufficiently crack down on bigotry and voter suppression. An audit the company released this month also faulted Facebook for missteps that created “significant setbacks for civil rights.”
With Post wires