The Guardian: ‘Facebook Algorithm Found to “Actively Promote” Holocaust Denial’

Mark Townsend, reporting for The Guardian earlier this month:

An investigation by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK-based counter-extremist organisation, found that typing “holocaust” in the Facebook search function brought up suggestions for denial pages, which in turn recommended links to publishers which sell revisionist and denial literature, as well as pages dedicated to the notorious British Holocaust denier David Irving. […]

Last Wednesday Facebook announced it was banning conspiracy theories about Jewish people “controlling the world”. However, it has been unwilling to categorise Holocaust denial as a form of hate speech, a stance that ISD describe as a “conceptual blind spot”.

This is a strong report that doesn’t mince words, except for a big euphemism right in the headline. It’s not Facebook’s algorithm that is “actively promoting” Holocaust denial, QAnon, and other dangerous rightwing rallying cries, but Facebook itself. The “algorithm” is Facebook; Facebook is what it promotes and recommends.

Saturday, 29 August 2020