An Investigation of Online Platforms’ Policies and Enforcement – “The Holocaust, the systematic murder of approximately six million Jews and several million others by the Nazis, is one of history’s most painstakingly examined and well-documented genocides. Nevertheless, in the decades since World War II, a small group of antisemites has repeatedly attempted to cast doubt on the facts of the Holocaust concerning Jewish victims. They claim that Jews fabricated evidence of their genocide to gain sympathy, extract reparations from Germany and facilitate the alleged illegal acquisition of Palestinian land to create Israel. This phenomenon, known as Holocaust denial, is founded on stereotypes of Jewish greed, scheming, and the belief that Jews can somehow force massive institutions — governments, Hollywood, the media, academia — to promote an epic lie. In the United States, until the early 2000s, Holocaust denial was dominated by the extremist right, including white supremacists, who had a vested interest in absolving Hitler from having committed one of the most monstrous crimes the world has ever known. Today, Holocaust denial in the U.S. has moved far beyond its original fringe circles on the extremist right to become a phenomenon across the ideological spectrum.
In January 2021, ADL investigated how a variety of platforms address Holocaust denial content. Our investigators both reviewed the policies regarding Holocaust denial on various digital social platforms and looked for examples of Holocaust denial across different tech platforms from social media to online gaming sites. We then reported the Holocaust denial content under the platform’s anti-hate policies from non-official accounts to see how platforms would enforce their policies for ordinary users. We created a report card on how tech companies are currently managing Holocaust denial content on their digital social platforms based on these results. The results present a snapshot in time, but give rise to significant concern…”