Why Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook won’t ban Holocaust deniers and Infowars

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 19, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg has clarified his controversial comments on why Facebook won't ban Holocaust deniers.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is once again in damage-control mode after remarks that seemed to suggest Holocaust deniers have a place on the social media platform.

In a conversation with Recode's Kara Swisher, the Facebook founder was asked a broad range of questions on matters like Russia's 2016 disinformation campaign, and why Facebook didn't take action to stop it earlier.

"It's hard to [question] intent and to understand the intent. I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly", he continued. The social network said last week that it would not ban InfoWars, a right-wing website known for pushing conspiracy theories.

"There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down", a Facebook spokesman said after a briefing on the policy at the company's campus in Silicon Valley.

Hours after the Recode podcast was published, Zuckerberg clarified his remarks in a follow-up statement to Swisher.

"I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn't intend to defend the intent of people who deny that", he wrote in a subsequent email to Recode.

During an interview with Kara Swisher of Recode, Zuckerberg shed light on a plethora of issues ranging from Russia's interference in the United States elections, data breaches to Facebook's business model and much more.

Still, the negative reaction to Zuckerberg's initial comments was swift.

The Anti-Defamation League argued that Facebook had a "moral and ethical obligation" to not allow Holocaust denial on the site. On Tuesday, the company's global head of policy management, Monika Bickert, testified before the House Judiciary Committee, where representatives grilled her on why Facebook allows Infowars to maintain an official page on its network, particularly after an armed gunman burst into a D.C. pizza joint based on bogus child trafficking claims propagated in part by Jones's site. "ADL will continue to challenge Facebook on this position and call on them to regard Holocaust denial as a violation of their community guidelines".

"The approach that we've taken to false news is not to say, you can't say something wrong on the Internet", he said.

Greenblat wasn't alone, with many taking to Twitter and elsewhere to express their concern over Zuckerberg's remarks.

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