Facebook bans Holocaust-denial content after allowing it for years

  • Facebook announced Monday it was changing its hate speech policy to “prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.”
  • The company has faced criticism for more than a decade over its refusal to moderate anti-Semitic content that distorts or denies the Holocaust, when Nazis and their allies systematically killed 6 million Jews, happened.
  • In the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Facebook has attempted to mitigate criticism that it fails to prevent the spread of dangerous conspiracy theories and disinformation on its platform. Just last week, Facebook said it banned QAnon accounts across its platforms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook has banned Holocaust-denial content from the platform after years of criticism over its refusal to take action against such anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Facebook announced Monday it was updating its hate speech policy to “prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.”

The policy change

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Facebook reverses policy and bans Holocaust denial on its platforms

Facebook has announced a ban on content that denies or distorts the Holocaust. The policy marks a reversal on how to handle a disturbing category of posts that CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said should not be blocked on the platform even though they’re false. 

The company updated its hate speech policy to prohibit such content, Monika Bickert, VP of Content Policy at Facebook, said in a statement on Monday. 

“Our decision is supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people,” she said.

Groups that track hate speech “are reporting increases in online attacks against many groups worldwide, and we continue our efforts to remove it,” Bickert said. 

The company says it removed 22.5 million pieces of hate speech shared on its platform in the second quarter of this year alone. Facebook has also banned more than 250

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U.S. companies lobby against China tech bans

The friction shows the difficulties the government faces in translating its national-security agenda into the real world, where influential industries have developed deep ties to China over many years.

Congress and the Trump administration say the measures are necessary to lessen U.S. reliance on a strategic rival that could sabotage, hack or withhold important technology. Some U.S. companies argue that the restrictions will cost tens of billions of dollars and in some cases won’t improve national security.

“We are broadly supportive of the spirit” of a law imposing new restrictions for federal contractors, Wesley Hallman, head of strategy and policy at the National Defense Industrial Association, said in an interview, adding that “some suspicion of Chinese components” is warranted.

But “if you were to apply this law very broadly in the way it is written,” he said, “just about all contractors doing work with the federal government, they would have

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Pakistan bans TikTok for ‘immoral’ content

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday issued instructions to block controversial video-sharing platform TikTok.

In a statement, the PTA said the ban followed a number of complaints about the type of content shared on the app.

“In view of a number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content on the video-sharing application TikTok, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued instructions for blocking of the application,” it wrote.

The PTA said after considering the complaints, as well as the nature of the content being “consistently” posted, it issued a final notice to the application.

The watchdog said it gave TikTok considerable time to respond and comply with its instructions for “development of effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content”.

“However, the application failed to fully comply with the instructions, therefore, directions were issued for blocking of TikTok application in the country,” it continued.

“TikTok has

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Pakistan bans Chinese app TikTok over unlawful content

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan blocked the Chinese social media app TikTok, saying the company failed to fully comply with the instructions to develop an effective mechanism to control unlawful content.

In a statement, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said Friday that it took the step after receiving complaints against “immoral and indecent” content on the video-sharing platform.

The PTA said that keeping in view the complaints and nature of the content being consistently posted on TikTok, the company was issued a final notice and given considerable time to respond and comply with instructions and guidelines.

But TikTok “failed to fully comply with PTA’s instructions,” after which the authority decided to ban it in Pakistan.

Shortly after the ban, the app began to show a blank interface with no text or images loading.

Pakistan has close relations with China.

The telecommunication authority kept the door open for a return of TikTok, saying

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Pakistan bans TikTok for ‘immoral’ and ‘indecent’ videos

Pakistan’s telecom regulator has banned TikTok, claiming the app failed to remove “immoral” and “indecent” content. The ban comes just over a month after the regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, banned dating apps, including Tinder and Grindr, for the same reason.

TikTok had been installed 43 million times in Pakistan, according to the analytics firm Sensor Tower. That made it the app’s 12th largest market in terms of installs. The firm estimates TikTok has been installed 2.2 billion times total across Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

The ban comes just a few months after TikTok was removed in India over concerns around the app’s Chinese ownership. The United States is still moving to ban TikTok over those same concerns. The ban itself is currently on hold due to a court order, but

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Twitter bans calls for polling disruptions and early victory declarations to curb election abuse

Twitter’s moves, like those announced recently by Facebook, are aimed mainly at combating efforts to manipulate the political landscape at critical moments in the hotly contested national vote. The policy changes are the culmination of years of reforms intended to prevent a repeat of 2016′s electoral debacle on social media, when disinformation, false news reports and Russian interference rampaged virtually unchecked across all major platforms.

“Twitter has a critical role to play in protecting the integrity of the election conversation, and we encourage candidates, campaigns, news outlets and voters to use Twitter respectfully and to recognize our collective responsibility to the electorate to guarantee a safe, fair and legitimate democratic process this November,” company officials said in a blog post published at noon Friday. The authors were Vijaya Gadde, the Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead at Twitter, and Kayvon Beykpour, its product lead.

The moves are likely to

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Pakistan bans TikTok over ‘immoral and indecent’ content

The PTA also said it is “open for engagement and will review his decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate unlawful content.” On Twitter, the PTA’s statement received mixed reactions, with the majority of replies lauding the decision while some criticized the department.

In March, the Pakistan government issued a notification through its Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules that require social media companies to “take due cognizance of the religious, cultural, ethnic and national security sensitivities of Pakistan.”

According to Nikkei, TikTok said it was “committed to following the law in markets where the app is offered” and that it’s regularly communicating with the PTA and continuing to work with them. A TikTok spokesperson told Engadget “We believe feeling safe helps people feel comfortable expressing themselves openly and allows creativity to flourish,” noting that it has “robust protections in place to support a safe and

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Facebook bans political ads after polls close on Election Day

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We’ve heard a lot about voter suppression as we approach Election Day. So what is it and how does it manifest itself? The Associated Press explains. (Oct. 5)

AP Domestic

With tensions rising between President Trump and his Democratic challenger Sen. Joe Biden, Facebook is taking urgent new steps to keep political candidates and their campaigns from using its social media platforms to cast doubt on the election and its outcome.

The company said Wednesday that it will ban all political, election and social issue ads after the polls close on Nov. 3 for a week or longer. Google adopted a similar rule two weeks ago.

On Election Day, Facebook will notify users of the latest results at the top of news feeds on Facebook and Instagram.

If a presidential candidate or party declares victory before the election is called by major media outlets, those posts will be labeled

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Twitter bans Trump death wishes, sparks debate

Twitter is removing tweets hoping for the demise of US President Donald Trump — a move which opened up the social platform to criticism that it should enforce the same policy for everyone.

San Francisco-based Twitter drew a line on caustic commentary after Trump’s Covid-19 hospitalization Friday, telling users that expressing hope for the death of anyone violates policies against abusive behavior at the one-to-many messaging service.

“Tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against anyone are not allowed and will need to be removed,” Twitter said in a post.

Attached was a link to a Twitter policy page that said it does not tolerate content that wishes, hopes, or expresses desire for someone to die or contract a fatal disease.

The post sparked a firestorm of responses from people contending that Twitter has not been consistent about enforcing those rules.

“So… you mean

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