Why Facebook Is Wrong to Ban Holocaust Denial

Holocaust denial is truly offensive and a clear lie. But Facebook got it wrong.

On 12 October, Facebook announced they were updating their hate speech policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.

We believe opinions remain free speech unless they meet the legal definition of hate speech. It’s education and debate, not bans, that will tackle hatred.

Certain political figures support anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. This causes more harm than anyone sharing false information about history.

We need more education about what happened: in our schools, from our politicians, in documentaries and books. And we need to teach people how to use counter-speech - a proven effective method of using dialogue to diffuse liars and their conspiracy theories.

There are times when Holocaust denial should be banned: when it falls under the legal definition of hate speech.

That is, when it incites violence or hatred. But silencing denial of historical fact is not a solution. Instead, we should educate those who fall for the lies.