Holocaust denial is not illegal in America, Facebook notes

Zuckerberg's comments sparked concern among American Jewish organizations and prompted admonition from the German government, which reminded that Holocaust denial is against the law there.

By
August 1, 2018 01:07
2 minute read.
Holocaust denial is not illegal in America, Facebook notes

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen on stage during a town hall at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California September 27, 2015.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

WASHINGTON -- Facebook is making a free speech argument to defend its policy of tolerating Holocaust denial posts on its platform.

The tech company allows "inaccurate" information to remain on the site that does not cross into the realm of hate speech, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said earlier this month in an interview with Recode. That policy was underscored by several other Facebook executives in recent days.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


But Paul Packer, chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, confronted the company's leadership last week over the policy, sending the company a pointed letter and receiving Facebook's vice president of global public policy for a contentious meeting.

"Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany, and a crime in France– we know its blocked in those countries by Facebook," where they geotag posts, Packer told The Jerusalem Post after the meeting.

He questioned why Facebook would not replicate the policy in the United States. "It has no place in America," he added, "to rewrite history."

Responding to Packer's suggestion, Facebook told the Post in a statement that it is simply adhering to local law, which in Europe requires the posts be removed and in America does not.

"When something on Facebook or Instagram is reported to us as violating local law, but doesn't go against our Community Standards, we may restrict the content's availability in the country where it is alleged to be illegal," the Facebook spokesman said. "When we restrict content based on local law, we do so only in the country or region where it is alleged to be illegal."

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


"In this case," the spokesman continued, "holocaust denial does not violate local law in the United States so it would not be restricted as it would be Germany, where the law differs."

Packer argued that Facebook has proven its ability to fight Holocaust denial in Europe– and that, while the law does not require it to do so, nothing is stopping the company from continuing with the practice in the states.

Zuckerberg's comments sparked concern among American Jewish organizations, and prompted admonition from the German government which reminded the Facebook executive that Holocaust denial is against the law there.

"What Mark Zuckerberg wishes or demands for the American or international market is not possible in Germany," the German Justice Ministry said in a statement.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Idemitsu Chairman Takashi Tsukioka speaks at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 10, 2018
September 20, 2018
Japan's oil refiners temporarily halt Iranian loadings on sanctions threat

By REUTERS