NEW YORK | Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is clarifying his stance pertaining to Holocaust deniers after getting some blowback on social media.
Speaking with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, said in an interview published Wednesday that Facebook posts denying the Holocaust took place would not be removed automatically. Zuckerberg said he thinks that there are things “that different people get wrong,” and 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.
Zuckerberg responded by saying that “It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent.”
The portion of the interview was about hate speech and its potential impact in regions of strife. After his comments led to an outcry online, Zuckerberg sent an email to Swisher attempting to expand on what he had said.
“There’s one thing I want to clear up. I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that,” Zuckerberg wrote in the email, which was published by Recode.
The goal of Facebook is not to prevent someone from saying something untrue, Zuckerberg said, but to stop fake news from spreading across the social network.
If something is deemed to be fake, he said, it might remain on the site but it would be pushed down in the news feed so fewer people would see it.
The earlier comments landed with a thud online. The Anti-Defamation League said that Facebook has a “moral and ethical obligation” not to allow people to disseminate Holocaust denial on its platform.