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Facebook, the World’s Safest Space for Holocaust Denial

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What is Holocaust denial?

The answer to this question may seem obvious to Haaretz readers and to the impressive roster of world leaders gathering at Yad Vashem this week for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.

Holocaust denial is a vile assault on the memory of the six million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany and its accomplices, a depraved twisting of the anti-Semitic knife. We must be unstinting in our efforts to keep the memory of our lost relatives - and the historical record - alive.

But beyond that, the question of what Holocaust denial really means, and where the boundaries of denial start and stop, is not so clear. In a world where social media platforms are willing facilitators of the notion that historical truth is just not that important, propagandists and conspiracy theorists from across the political spectrum latch on to the Holocaust to make political capital for themselves.

>> The Roma, World War 2's Forgotten Genocide | Opinion >> I met Rafael Lemkin, the Penniless, Persistent Hero Who Coined the Term 'Genocide' | Opinion

How social media has helped Holocaust denial morph from a neo-Nazi lie to an a ubiquitous, and accepted, internet meme becomes clear when contrasting how the European Court of Human Rights has approached Holocaust denial, and how social media titan Facebook has.

The Court is part of an extensive framework of institutions and conventions carefully constructed by the nations of post-Holocaust Europe to try to prevent the return of the totalitarianism that brought about a genocide on their soil.

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In a significant ruling last October, the Court found that Holocaust-denying German politician Udo Pastörs, the former Chair of the far right NPD, had lost his protected right to free........

© Haaretz