FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2020
TORONTO, ON – Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s hate speech policy will be updated to ban Holocaust denial.
The announcement acknowledged the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horrors of the Holocaust, and referenced data showing an increase in antisemitism globally.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the most internationally recognized definition of antisemitism, lists Holocaust denial as a contemporary example of anti-Jewish hate. In August, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) joined a coalition of 145 organizations calling on Facebook to adopt the IHRA definition in full.
In response to the announcement, Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO, CIJA issued the following:
“CIJA has been engaging with Facebook’s policy team over many months to help them understand how antisemitism manifests on their platform. We welcome today’s announcement and look forward to continuing this important conversation.
“More than an assault on truth, Holocaust denial and distortion are some of the most insidious forms of antisemitism. The claim that the genocide of six million Jews was either a hoax or an exaggeration hinges on classic antisemitic themes of a manipulative world Jewish conspiracy.”
Pinchas Gutter, Co-President of the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD), added:
“Holocaust deniers call us liars. We are not liars. We are survivors. I witnessed with my own eyes the cattle cars and the horrors of the Majdanek concentration camp, where my mother, my father, and my twin sister, Sabina, were sent immediately to the death chamber to be gassed.
“By directing users to institutions focused on Holocaust research and remembrance, like Yad Vashem, Facebook will be taking an active role in countering the spread of antisemitism online.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada.
Affiliated with CIJA, the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD) is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of its members and represents Canadian survivors at the Jewish Material Claims Conference.
- Pinchas Gutter calls on Mark Zuckerberg to remove Holocaust denial from Facebook #NoDenyingIt
- CIJA’s third annual legal conference focused on combating online hate
- Open Letter to Facebook: Adopt the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism (August 7th, 2020)
- IHRA definition of antisemitism: https://www.cija.ca/ihra-definition/