Can the LGBTQ community trust Facebook after Zuckerberg says anti-Semitic posts are okay?

In an interview with Recode‘s Kara Swisher yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his decision to allow anti-Semitic content on his popular social media platform.

“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” he shared. “I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

To which Swisher interrupted, “In the case of the Holocaust deniers, they might be, but go ahead.”

Zuckerberg defended his case.

“I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, ‘We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times,’” he said.

So where does he draw the line on acceptable content?

“The principles that we have on what we remove from the service are: If it’s going to result in real harm, real physical harm, or if you’re attacking individuals, then that content shouldn’t be on the platform,” Zuckerberg told Swisher.

Swisher replied, “‘Sandy Hook didn’t happen’ is not a debate. It is false. You can’t just take that down?”

Zuckerberg dug in deeper.

“I also think that going to someone who is a victim of Sandy Hook and telling them, ‘Hey, no, you’re a liar’ – that is harassment, and we actually will take that down,” he said, noting that context mattered.

Zuckerberg’s commitment to the LGBTQ community is also now in question.

The entrepreneur marched with 700 of his Facebook employees (about 15% of its workforce) in the San Francisco Pride Parade this year. But was that show of solidarity enough?

Can the LGBTQ community trust a business tycoon who in one breath allows the denial of the Holocaust to go unchecked and, on the other hand, touts his pride of Judaism?

The 34-year-old Harvard University graduate is reportedly worth upwards of $70 billion. Still, money can’t buy freedom from negative public opinion – and there’s plenty of that to go around.

It’s been confirmed that Cambridge Analytica infiltrated more than 50 million Facebook users in order to steal the 2016 election for Donald Trump. LGBTQ voters were a targeted audience.

They used Zuckerberg’s Facebook algorithm to spread fake news stories and taint the reputation of Trump’s opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In fact, supporters of the Trump propaganda regime were heard shouting Adolph Hitler’s Nazi-era phrase, “Lügenpresse” at a 2016 rally. The term roughly translates to “lying press.”

German author Reinhold Anton originally coined the phrase in 1914. The term was used during World War I to refer to “enemy propaganda” and, later, during Hitler’s rise to power.

Zuckerberg wrote Swisher a follow-up email after their interview.

“There’s one thing I want to clear up,” he wrote. “I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”

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