The content crackdowns continue. With the elections coming up and social media playing an ever-expanding role in shaping our democracy, Big Tech is making a point of refining their rules and regulations to ensure destructive communities are properly policed.
Just last week, Facebook cracked down on QAnon pages and groups, including on Instagram. It committed to removing any Pages, Groups, or Instagram Profiles representing QAnon — a severe blow to the conspiracy theorist group as it often relies on Facebook to generate and circulate material. Facebook joined Twitter and TikTok in the QAnon crackdown.
Today, Facebook announced in a press release that it will begin removing content that "denies or distorts the Holocaust." Holocaust denial is an ahistorical anti-Semitic campaign to deny, reduce, or otherwise erase the genocide of Jewish people during World War II. The ban falls under an update to Facebook's hate speech policy, and Facebook cited the global rise in anti-Semitism as reason enough to take on Holocaust denial on its platforms.
White supremacist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Black hate groups and militia groups run rampant on Facebook. And Facebook has dragged its feet in owning up to its role in amplifying vitriol and misinformation since before the 2016 election. Given how this year's election is expected to draw out long after the polls close on November 3, Facebook will also ban election ads after the polls close. Only time will tell if these bans were timed with intention or if it's too little too late.