Facebook is facing off against an unlikely group this week—the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.
The social network removed a news article that the center posted about Holocaust education “for apparently violating community standards,” the center said. The violation: It included a photo showing naked, emaciated children from a Nazi concentration camp, along with survey results showing that almost a third of Americans believe that substantially fewer than 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
When Facebook initially removed the post on August 27, the Center sent a request for an explanation. It reportedly didn’t receive a response from Facebook until it went public with a tweet. “You haven’t given us a reason, yet allow Holocaust Denial pages to still exist,” the center tweeted. “Seems a little hypocritical?”
Hi @Facebook, you removed our post promoting the need for Holocaust Education for apparently violating community standards. You haven't given us a reason, yet allow Holocaust Denial pages to still exist. Seems a little hypocritical?(the post was the exact same as the tweet below) https://t.co/H4bYTdEQp3
— Anne Frank Center (@AnneFrankCenter) August 29, 2018
Facebook eventually realized that the photo was “an important image of historical significance” and reinstated the post, according to a tweet from Facebook. The Anne Frank Center was not particularly impressed, noting in a statement that “if Facebook is serious about its community standards, it should start tackling Holocaust denial and not the organizations who are trying to educate people on discrimination, facts, and history.”
The center is collecting signatures for a petition demanding that Facebook remove pages denying the Holocaust from its site—and not photos of the atrocities the Nazis committed.
This is not the first time that a newsworthy photo has been accused of violating Facebook’s Community Standards. Two years ago, Facebook deleted posts that included the iconic Vietnam War-era image of “napalm girl.” It then reversed the decision, recognizing the historical importance of the troubling image.
At the time, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote that Facebook intends to “do better.” Clearly, that still needs some work.