Facebook, which has come under fire a number of times now over “fake news,” conspiracy theories, and offensive content posted on its platform, has traditionally opted for a hands-off approach to deal with problematic content. Now, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reinforcing that mentality, explaining why he won’t ban Holocaust deniers on Facebook.
“Let’s take this a little closer to home,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with Recode. “So I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong — I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong. It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent.”
“It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent,” Zuckerberg said. “I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly … I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say we are going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.”
The social media giant faced mounting backlash over the past week for allowing the Alex Jones-led site InfoWars to remain on the platform — despite the fact that it’s spread lies about the Sandy Hook massacre and contributed to the false “Pizzagate” conspiracy.
“As abhorrent as some of this content can be, I do think that it gets down to this principle of giving people a voice,” said Zuckerberg.
Instead of banning websites outright, Facebook will just continue to remove individual posts that violate its terms of service — like those promoting or inciting violence, he added.