Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg in Holocaust denial dispute

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg in Holocaust denial dispute

Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, said in an interview with Recode that Facebook posts denying the Holocaust took place would not be removed automatically.

Critics quickly picked up on Zuckerberg's comments, noting that his logic casts doubt on Facebook's ability to prevent another Cambridge Analytica scandal or the additional spread of Russian propaganda during a USA election.

Mark Zuckerberg said he found claims that Nazi slaughter of Jews did not happen "deeply offensive", he does not believe it should be totally forbidden from Facebook. "Everyone gets things wrong".

While thousands of Facebook moderators around the world are assigned to review potentially objectionable content, aided by artificial intelligence, executives like to say the company doesn't want to become an "arbiter of truth" and instead tries to let users decide for themselves.

Facebook must stick to German laws which ban Holocaust denial, the Justice Ministry in Berlin said on Thursday after Mark Zuckerberg caused outrage by saying his platform should not delete such comments.

"The Nazi Holocaust is the most documented atrocity in history, allowing the canard of Holocaust denial to be posted on Facebook, or any other social media platform can not be justified in the name of 'free exchange of ideas'".

People at two news outlets - KPBS and the Texas Tribune - have complained that Facebook nixed ads because they were deemed to be political.

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The social network said it is partnering with local organizations and authorities adept at identifying when posts are false and likely to prompt violence. In an email to Recode (below), he explained that his intention wasn't to defend Holocaust deniers, adding that Facebook wasn't trying to stop people from creating false stories, but to prevent misinformation from spreading across its services. Swisher was very vocal on social media during the Congressional hearings on Cambridge Analytica earlier this year.

Hours after the interview went live on the Recode Decode podcast and a transcript was published on the website, Zuckerberg sent an email to Swisher to clear up any misconceptions.

Zuckerberg said that as long as posts are not calling for harm or violence, even offensive content should be protected.

"Reducing the distribution of misinformation - rather than removing it outright - strikes the right balance between free expression and a safe and authentic community", Facebook said in a statement Wednesday.

The episode was an unwelcome distraction for Facebook after it held a media briefing on the company's new policy to remove bogus posts likely to spark violence.

The United Nations has suggested the dissemination of misinformation and hate speech over Facebook played a part in amplifying the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, where over 650,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled into Bangladesh after violence broke out in Rakhine state. Some people also said the "Facebook leadership just ... has no moral compass" and is not fit for the job it is doing.

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