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July 8, 2021 5:42 pm
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To Fight Holocaust Denial, Facebook Searches of Key Words in 12 Languages Will Prompt Authoritative Info

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Demonstrators displaying a Holocaust denial sign (illustrative). Photo: Courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Facebook users searching for information about the Holocaust in 12 languages, including German, Arabic and Chinese, will now be directed to authoritative information on an educational website.

The initiative was first launched on January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, for social media users searching in English for terms associated with the Holocaust and the denial of it. Upon typing any related search terms, Facebook users are prompted to visit AboutHolocaust.org to learn about the history of the Holocaust.

As of today, users searching in Arabic, French, Polish, Russian and Spanish for Holocaust-related terms will be prompted to visit the site. Later this month, the education initiative will also be available in Chinese, Farsi, German, Hebrew, Hungarian and Portuguese, while Facebook may add more languages at a later stage.

The site was developed by the World Jewish Congress together with UNESCO, the United Nation’s education, scientific and cultural organization. It provides visitors with facts about the genocide of European Jewry and the mass killings of other national, ethnic, political groups by Nazi Germany and its accomplices during World War II. The online tool also includes easy to read testimonies from survivors, to counter misinformation circulating across social media and other online forums.

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Jordana Cutler, Facebook’s Public Policy Director for Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, said, “During this time of rising antisemitism, I am proud that Facebook partnered with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and UNESCO to ensure that people around the world will be directed to credible information about the Holocaust and hear survivors’ stories. By expanding this tool to reach more people in more languages, Facebook is taking an active role to fulfill the promise of ‘Never Again.’”

The project is the latest effort to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial on the world’s largest social media platform. It aims to ensure that Facebook users don’t fall “victim to the purveyors of hate and ignorance,” the WJC said in a statement. Back in October, Facebook updated its hate speech policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the events of the Holocaust.

“I commend Facebook for its continued efforts to remove hateful content and support Holocaust education. I encourage other social media platforms to follow this example of how to use their technology to ensure that their influential platforms contribute to disseminating the truth,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.

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