Earlier this week, The Guardian published leaked Facebook guidelines for moderators charged with deciding whether to take down hateful content from the social media site. Possibly the most controversial revelation is how Facebook determines whether to remove content which denies the Holocaust.
According to the documents, moderators should only take down such content in four of the 14 countries in which Holocaust denial is outlawed: France, Germany, Israel and Austria. Facebook determined that those four countries actually prosecute companies distributing Holocaust denial content.
“We believe our geo-blocking policy balances our belief in free expression with the practical need to respect local laws in certain sovereign nations in order to remain unblocked and avoid legal liability,” reads the guidelines. “We will only use geo-blocking when a country has taken sufficient steps to demonstrate that the local legislation permits censorship in that specific case.”
The documents also reveal Facebook changed their policies to allow content containing nude pictures of adults during the Holocaust.
Steven Davidson is an editorial fellow at The Forward.