Facebook Algorithms Promote Holocaust Denial Content, Think Tank Report Finds

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Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone screen photographed for illustration photo in Krakow, Poland. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto, via JTA.org)

By Marcy Oster

Holocaust denial content is “readily accessible” on social media and Facebook algorithms “actively” promote it, according to a report published Monday.

The London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue found that typing “holocaust” in the Facebook search function brought up suggestions for denial pages, which point users to publishers that sell revisionist and denial literature.


“Using a ‘snowball’ discovery method, we found that when a user follows public pages containing Holocaust denial content, Facebook actively promotes further Holocaust denial content to that user,” the report said.

The downloadable report, titled “Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media,” found that Facebook and Twitter “provide a home to an established and active community of Holocaust deniers.” It also discusses how appropriately applied content moderation policies can be effective in denying conspiracy theorists a public platform in a discussion of how Holocaust denial content has decreased significantly in the past year on YouTube.

Holocaust denial on Reddit was reduced through “a combination of moderation efforts and pushback from other users.”

The report said that there are 36 Facebook groups, with a combined 366,068 followers, that are specifically dedicated to Holocaust denial or  host such content.

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