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January 27, 2021 12:00 pm

Facebook Effort to Combat Holocaust Denial Receives ‘D’ Grade in ADL Report Card on Social Media

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of the Facebook logo. Photo: Reuters / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File.

Tech giant Facebook received a lowly ‘D’ for its efforts to combat Holocaust denial online in a social media report card issued by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday.

The report card — published to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day — graded 10 social media platforms based on their policies and company practices towards content denying the Holocaust.

According to the ADL, live streaming platform Twitch, the only provider to receive a ‘B’ grade, “is the most responsive platform and has the most robust policies in place for addressing Holocaust denial, a form of antisemitism.”

The ADL said that “[F]ollowing not far behind were Twitter, YouTube, Roblox and TikTok, who each earned a ‘C’ for their efforts; while Facebook, Instagram, Discord, Reddit and Steam were issued near ‘failing’ grades.”

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The report card noted that “Twitter and Twitch were the only platforms in the study who took immediate action when Holocaust denial content was reported to them by anonymous users. Other platforms included in the study either maintained that the content did not violate their policies or provided no response at all.”

In the case of Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, the ADL said that after a decade of pressure, the company “was changing how its platforms treated Holocaust denial content by recategorizing it as hate speech instead of misinformation.”

Despite that change, however, “the platform still fails to respond to reports when such hateful content is flagged,” the ADL said.

“This earned the platform a ‘D,’ under the ADL’s weighted rating scale,” it continued. “Facebook was the only platform in our investigation that confirmed after their own internal review process that the majority of the content we reported did not violate their community standards.”

The ADL’s review came out as Facebook announced that a new feature that directs users searching for information about the Holocaust to a special website created by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and UNESCO.

In a statement marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, Facebook declared that it was “proud” to have supported the project.

“At a time of rising hate and intolerance, taking time to read and reflect on what happened to Jews and others in Europe is more important than ever,” COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement.

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