NEW YORK – Together with Facebook, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) announced today that it is working with the social media platform to connect Facebook users to authoritative information about the Holocaust on the website AboutHolocaust.org. The WJC jointly developed this comprehensive online resource with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as an accessible means to provide essential information about the history of the Holocaust and its legacy.
Starting today – International Holocaust Remembrance Day – when Facebook users search for terms associated with the Holocaust or denial of it, the social media platform will prompt them to visit AboutHolocaust.org, where they will be able to learn the facts about the genocide of European Jewry and the mass killings of other national, ethnic, and political groups by Nazi Germany and its accomplices during World War II.
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. This International Holocaust Remembrance Day 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 on the heels of Facebook’s expanded hate speech policy announced in October, committing to remove content related to Holocaust denial and antisemitism.
“Holocaust denial, Holocaust distortion, and the spreading of conspiracy myths about the Holocaust generally 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 to AboutHolocaust.org will contribute greatly to promoting tolerance and empathy as the antidote to resurgent antisemitism, xenophobia, bigotry and hate.
“I commend Facebook for this development and encourage other social media platforms to follow this example of how to use their technology to ensure that their immense platforms can be used for good.”
This move 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. The feature will first be available in English-speaking countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and will be rolled out in additional languages and countries at the next stage.
Added Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, “Transmitting the history of the Holocaust is key to combating denial and conspiracy theories today – it is key to equipping people with the skills they need to refuse the hateful logic of antisemitism, racism and hatred, and to challenging those who seek to exploit ignorance. We must join forces to share factual and reliable information on social media platforms, and this partnership is a clear step in the right direction.”
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), established aboutholocaust.org with the goal of providing the widest possible audience of young people and future generations with essential information about the history of the Holocaust and its legacy. The online tool, with content currently available in 19 languages, includes easy to read facts about the Holocaust and survivor testimonies reviewed by leading experts in the field of Holocaust studies designed to address gaps in knowledge and to counter the misinformation that circulates across social media and other online forums.
AboutHolocaust.org is made possible thanks to the support of Roman Abramovich and Chelsea Football Club’s “Say No to Antisemitism” campaign.