Facebook's Holocaust Denial Policy: Delete Posts in Countries Where It Can Be Sued

According to leaked company guidelines, moderators are instructed to take down flagged posts in Israel, Germany, France and Austria, where laws against Holocaust denial are enforced

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Image from an Iranian Holocaust denial website
Image from an Iranian Holocaust denial websiteCredit: Screenshot

Facebook's guidelines for moderators, leaked at the begining of the week by the British newspaper the Guardian, show that the company only takes down content flagged by users as Holocaust denial when it is posted in countries that pursue legal action against Holocaust deniers.

The revelation seems to expose the fact that the social media giant was only deleting such posts so to avoid financial loss.

The documents, published by the Guardian as the "Facebook Files," lay out the companies policies for moderating content, stated that the company not only forgoes taking action in countries where Holocaust denial was illegal, but does so only in those countries that actually pursue legal action against offenders, that is Israel, Germany, France and Austria.

"We will only use geo-blocking when a country has taken sufficient steps to demonstrate that the local legislation permits censorship in that specific case,” the report quoted the document as saying.

“Some 14 countries have legislation on their books prohibiting the expression of claims that the volume of death and severity of the Holocaust is overestimated," one of Facebook's documents reportedly states. "Less than half the countries with these laws actually pursue it. We block on report only in those countries that actively pursue the issue with us.”

One of the examples given in the guidelines, the Guardian wrote, was an image of a concentration camp with the caption "Never again Believe the Lies," which was deemed permissible anywhere except for the four countries mentioned above.

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