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August 24, 2023 1:52 pm

X Deletes Holocaust Denial Posts After Initially Allowing Them as Auschwitz Museum’s Frustration Grows


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Elon Musk. Photo: Ministério Das Comunicações/ZACK/MCOM via Wikimedia Commons

X, the online platform formerly called Twitter, this week removed multiple antisemitic posts promoting Holocaust denial that were flagged by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum — but only after the Elon Musk-led social media company initially said the posts did not break its safety policies.

On Thursday, the Auschwitz Museum shared screenshots of antisemitic posts uploaded by the account “Feedwhitebabies” calling the Holocaust a “figment of the Jewish Marketing imagination” and saying the genocide of approximately six million Jews by the Nazis happened “in your head. Sorry the pools and the theatre weren’t to Jew standards, but ya know… All of Europe was an [sic] War.”

The account also poked fun at the torment Jews faced from Nazis during the Holocaust in a separate post that included an image of a “masturbation machine that Nazis used on Jews.”

According to X’s policies, Holocaust denial is prohibited and listed as reason to report an account or post. However, when the Auschwitz Museum initially reported the offensive posts, it received a message saying that after viewing the “available information,” X decided that the posts did not violate the platform’s safety policies or rules, according to screenshots shared by the museum.

X has since suspended the account “Feedwhitebabies,” and the original post can’t be accessed.

Earlier this week, a handle on X by the name of “AngeleLave51660” commented on the Auschwitz Museum’s post from Sunday about three-year-old Renee Kaufman, a Jewish girl from France who was murdered in the gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The post featured a meme that called Laufman’s death a “fairy tale” and used antisemitic tropes. At first, X told the museum the posts did not violate the platform’s safety policies or rules.

However, X later said that its initial response to the museum’s complaint was because of a mistake during its first review and that the post was removed in a second review, according to the BBC. The Auschwitz Museum said on Tuesday that the account had been suspended.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum said last Friday that it will block users on its X account who promote Holocaust denial and hatred.

“Failing to address the antisemitic and Holocaust denial comments that appear under our posts commemorating the victims of Auschwitz would be a disservice to their memory,” the museum added. “In today’s digital age, social media platforms shoulder significant moral responsibility. They should actively counter hate speech and halt its normalization. A platform that disregards the need to defend the memory of the victims demonstrates a disregard for creating a respectful and empathetic online environment.”

The museum told The Algemeiner in a statement: “We do believe that X needs to be more vigorous in moderation of content, as it seems the reporting system barely works – reports are generally turned down while after exposing of vile, antisemitic, denial tweets, users are finally suspended. We will continue to block users.”

Musk announced that X will eventually disable the “block” option as a feature on the platform and that it will only be available for direct messages.

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