More than 20 Holocaust experts have demanded a meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to address the publisher’s failure to remove antisemitic material.
Posts claiming that the Holocaust is a lie and that Jewish people are “barbaric and unsanitary” were not removed by Facebook even though they had been reported as offensive, The Times revealed last month.
Despite assurances that antisemitic material was being reviewed, many posts, including a cartoon depicting Jewish people as sex traffickers and war criminals, remained online yesterday.
In an open letter sent to Mr Zuckerberg last night, the heads of 24 global institutions demanded action. Signatories include Diane Lee, director general of Imperial War Museums UK, Professor Peter Schäfer, director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and Henry Grunwald, chairman of the UK National Holocaust Centre and Museum.
The letter states: “Facebook must not allow complete and utter falsehoods about the Holocaust, and about the Jewish people, to go systematically unchecked. Virulent antisemitism is a proven pathway that leads from rhetorical hatred to actions of violence.”
The controversy follows comments made by Mr Zuckerberg in which he said that holocaust denial would not be automatically removed from the site because it could be someone merely getting the facts wrong. Facebook said: “We take the issue of antisemitism and any form of hate speech incredibly seriously, and find it deeply offensive.”