Facebook is rife with Holocaust-denial content, and its algorithm “actively promotes” the material, according to a new analysis.
The UK-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, an anti-extremist organization, scoured the social-media site and discovered at least 36 groups with a combined 366,068 followers hosting content denying the Nazi genocide, The Guardian reported Sunday.
Upon following a group with such content, Facebook recommended others of a similar ilk, the study found.
The ISD also found that searching for “Holocaust” on Facebook returned suggestions for groups denying the atrocity, which in turn linked to publishers peddling revisionist history literature.
“Facebook’s decision to allow Holocaust denial content to remain on its platform is framed under the guise of protecting legitimate historical debate, but this misses the reason why people engage in Holocaust denial in the first place,” Jacob Davey, ISD’s senior research manager, told The Guardian.
“Denial of the Holocaust is a deliberate tool used to delegitimize the suffering of the Jewish people and perpetuate long-standing antisemitic tropes, and when people explicitly do this it should be seen as an act of hatred,” he added.
Facebook and other social-media sites have been increasingly scrutinized for their policies over misinformation spread on their platforms.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been particularly outspoken on his reservations about policing content, saying that social-media sites should not “be arbiters of truth.”
Earlier this month, the site for the first time deleted a post by President Trump over misinformation, striking down a video clip in which Trump said children are “almost immune from COVID-19.”
Facebook said in a statement to The Guardian that it takes seriously content making light of the Holocaust — but that material simply denying its occurrence doesn’t necessarily warrant removal.
“We take down any post that celebrates, defends, or attempts to justify the Holocaust. The same goes for any content that mocks Holocaust victims, accuses victims of lying, spews hate, or advocates for violence against Jewish people in any way,” the statement read in part.
“We also remove groups and pages that discuss Holocaust denial from recommendations and references to it in search predictions,” it continued. “While we do not take down content simply for being untruthful, many posts that deny the Holocaust often violate our policies against hate speech and are removed.”
The ISD also reportedly found ample Holocaust denial material on Twitter, YouTube and Reddit.
Searching for the term “holohoax” — often used by deniers — returned 19,000 results on Twitter, 9,500 on YouTube and 2,300 on Reddit, all of them created within the past two years, the study found.
The post Facebook’s algorithm ‘promotes’ content denying Holocaust, study says appeared first on New York Post.