NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress (WJC) announced today an expansion of its partnership with Facebook to connect users of the social media platform worldwide searching in 12 languages with authoritative information about the Holocaust available on the website AboutHolocaust.org. The WJC developed AboutHolocaust.org with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as a comprehensive, accessible online resource providing essential information about the history of the Holocaust and its legacy.
Through a rollout that begins today and will continue in coming weeks, when Facebook users search in any of 12 languages for terms associated with the Holocaust or denial of it, the social media platform will prompt them to visit AboutHolocaust.org. At that site, visitors are provided facts about the genocide of European Jewry and the mass killings of other national, ethnic, political and other groups by Nazi Germany and its accomplices during World War II.
The Facebook prompt was first initiated on January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, for English language users only. As of today, users searching terms in the following languages will be prompted to visit AboutHolocaust.org: Arabic, English, French, Polish, Russian and Spanish. Later this month, users searching in the following languages will also be prompted: Chinese, Farsi, German, Hebrew, Hungarian and Portuguese. Facebook may add additional languages later.
At the time of the initial launch of the prompt in January, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said, “I am grateful for all that the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO do to honor the six million people who were murdered just for being Jewish, the countless more who were killed for who they were, and those who survived this horrendous chapter in human history. She added, “We are proud to partner with them to help people learn the facts about the Holocaust and hear the stories of those who survived. At a time of rising hate and intolerance, taking time to read and reflect on what happened to Jews and others in Europe is more important than ever.”
Directing users to this reliable resource is the social media company’s latest effort to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial on its platform. It follows Facebook’s expansion of its hate speech policy, which commits to remove content related to Holocaust denial and antisemitism.
“Holocaust denial, Holocaust distortion, and the spreading of conspiracy myths about the Holocaust have become cornerstones in the vicious incitement of antisemitic hatred on the part of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other extremist forces,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “Learning the facts of the Holocaust is crucial to combating all those who deliberately desecrate the memory of the millions who were murdered by Nazi Germany and its multinational accomplices in order to promote their reprehensible agenda. The Holocaust is the ultimate example of what can happen when hatred and malicious lies rooted in deliberate misinformation are allowed to thrive.
“The World Jewish Congress is deeply gratified to work with UNESCO and Facebook to ensure that Facebook’s 2.7 billion users are provided with accurate, comprehensive information about the Holocaust. Connecting Facebook users around the world to AboutHolocaust.org contributes greatly to promoting tolerance and empathy as the antidote to resurgent antisemitism, xenophobia, bigotry and hate.
“I commend Facebook for its continued efforts to remove hateful content and support Holocaust education. I encourage other social media platforms to follow this example of how to use their technology to ensure that their influential platforms contribute to disseminating the truth.”
This most recent step by Facebook is the product of a long period of cooperation with the WJC as well as Facebook’s receptiveness to using its massive platform as the world’s largest social media company to ensure that its users don’t fall victim to the purveyors of hate and ignorance.
Added Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, “It is essential that people all over the world have access to factually accurate information about the Holocaust. Denial and distortion are forms of contemporary antisemitism, which we must all take an active stand against. In the context of the global rise of misinformation, social media platforms have a role to play in combating false narratives and hate, and redirecting users to reliable sources of information.”
Facebook’s Public Policy Director, Israel & Jewish Diaspora, Jordana Cutler, said, “During this time of rising antisemitism, I am proud that Facebook partnered with the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO to ensure that people around the world will be directed to credible information about the Holocaust and hear survivors’ stories. By expanding this tool to reach more people in more languages, Facebook is taking an active role to fulfill the promise of ‘Never Again.’”
About the World Jewish Congress
West End Strategy Team