Zuckerberg: Holocaust deniers won’t be banned from Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has been forced to backtrack from his defense of Holocaust deniers amid outrage over his remarks.

The Facebook CEO said that while he finds Holocaust denial ‘deeply offensive,’ he does not believe that such content should be banned from his social media network.

Speaking with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Zuckerberg – who is Jewish – said in an interview published Wednesday that he thinks there are things ‘that different people get wrong.’

He added that he doesn’t think they are ‘intentionally’ getting it wrong. At this point, Swisher cut in and said that in the case of Holocaust deniers, it may be intentionally wrong.

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Zuckerberg said: ‘It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent. I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly.’

“Holocaust denial is a willful, deliberate and longstanding deception tactic by anti-Semites that is incontrovertibly hateful, hurtful, and threatening to Jews,” Jonathan Greenblat, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement.

“Facebook has a moral and ethical obligation not to allow its dissemination.”

The Justice Ministry in Berlin said on Thursday that Facebook must stick to German laws which ban Holocaust denial.

Officials in Germany, which has enforced a law imposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($58 million) on social media sites that fail to remove hateful messages promptly, made it clear that Holocaust denial was a punishable crime.

“There must be no place for anti-Semitism. This includes verbal and physical attacks on Jews as well as the denial of Holocaust,” Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Thursday.

“The latter is also punishable by us and will be strictly prosecuted,” Barley said.