On October 15th a Twitter spokeswoman claimed that “attempts to deny or diminish” the Holocaust would be REMOVED from the platform. Yet, this image and images like it appeared AFTER her comments. Less than two weeks later, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey appeared before Congress and when asked about Holocaust denial he said “we don’t have a policy against that type of misleading information.”
*WARNING* DISTURBING IMAGE OF HOLOCAUST DENIAL
THIS ENDS NOW!
DEMAND THAT TWITTER STOP HOLOCAUST DENIAL
Join us and demand that Twitter (a) adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion and (b) clearly and unequivocally ban Holocaust denial and distortion.
When Jack Dorsey testified to the United States Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on October 28, 2020, he stated that Holocaust denial was “misleading information” but that he didn’t “…have a policy against that type of misleading information” at Twitter. At the American Jewish Congress, we were shocked to hear his response, particularly given that it came less than two weeks after media reports that Twitter had followed YouTube and Facebook in finally banning Holocaust denial.
After looking further into the matter, we found that the hypocrisy was worse than we had thought. What the media had erroneously interpreted as a ban on Holocaust denial was never accurate. While Twitter has three policies that touch upon Holocaust-related content, none of them explicitly deals with Holocaust denial.
- Twitter’s hateful conduct policy only prohibits the targeting of individuals by sending them media depicting pictures or videos of victims of the Holocaust.
- Twitter’s glorification of violence policy prohibits glorifying, celebrating, praising or condoning violent events targeting protected groups; the Holocaust is only listed as an example.
- Twitter’s hateful imagery policy recognizes that “…manipulating images of individuals to include yellow Star of David badges, in reference to the Holocaust” is a problem and requires that these posts be marked as “sensitive media,” but not that they be removed.
Our staff found and reported multiple recent examples of Holocaust denial and distortion on Twitter. Many of the examples were placed behind a warning label but were allowed to continue spreading on Twitter.
Example 1: A picture of the train tracks leading into Auschwitz with text saying “When history comes to you enforced by law, only one thing is certain – it is a lie.”
Example 2: A picture of a media panel with yellow Star of David badges stuck on each guest.
Example 3: A picture of a man with a blue Star of David on his suit holding another man upside down and shaking him as money pours out, all below a caption that reads “Holocaust reparation collector.”
Twitter should not be providing a platform for hate like this to spread. Only a clear and unequivocal policy against Holocaust denial and distortion will stop such abuse. Only a clear definition, like that provided in the IHRA Working Definition of Holocaust denial and distortion, will ensure staff properly enforce such a policy.
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If you have read this background and not yet signed the petition, please scroll up and join us in calling on Twitter to: (a) adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion and (b) clearly and unequivocal ban Holocaust denial and distortion.
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The working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion
The present definition is an expression of the awareness that Holocaust denial and distortion have to be challenged and denounced nationally and internationally and need examination at a global level. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance adopted the following legally non-binding working definition as its working tool.
Holocaust denial is discourse and propaganda that deny the historical reality and the extent of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis and their accomplices during World War II, known as the Holocaust or the Shoah. Holocaust denial refers specifically to any attempt to claim that the Holocaust/Shoah did not take place.
Holocaust denial may include publicly denying or calling into doubt the use of principal mechanisms of destruction (such as gas chambers, mass shooting, starvation and torture) or the intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people.
Holocaust denial in its various forms is an expression of antisemitism. The attempt to deny the genocide of the Jews is an effort to exonerate National Socialism and antisemitism from guilt or responsibility in the genocide of the Jewish people. Forms of Holocaust denial also include blaming the Jews for either exaggerating or creating the Shoah for political or financial gain as if the Shoah itself was the result of a conspiracy plotted by the Jews. In this, the goal is to make the Jews culpable and antisemitism once again legitimate.
The goals of Holocaust denial often are the rehabilitation of an explicit antisemitism and the promotion of political ideologies and conditions suitable for the advent of the very type of event it denies.
Distortion of the Holocaust refers, inter alia, to:
- Intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany;
- Gross minimization of the number of the victims of the Holocaust in contradiction to reliable sources;
- Attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide;
- Statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event. Those statements are not Holocaust denial but are closely connected to it as a radical form of antisemitism. They may suggest that the Holocaust did not go far enough in accomplishing its goal of “the Final Solution of the Jewish Question”;
- Attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups.
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