Facebook's Holocaust denial a small step in complex fight against online hate
Commentary by Gabriel Weimann a professor of communication at the University of Haifa, a visiting professor at the University of Maryland, and the author of nine books, including Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation.
“If Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem,’” actor Sacha Baron Cohen said at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now antisemitism summit last year. He is not wrong.
In that forceful 24-minute address, Cohen used his charisma and wit to convince millions of what academics have said for years: Despite its benefits, social media has become a hotbed of intolerance, hate and bigotry that has gone unregulated for far too long.
This is why I applaud Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for banning Holocaust denial on his platform. The policy change, though, is only one small step in a complex fight against extremism online. Continue reading