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Milwaukee Independent featured Dyson Professor Adam Klein's piece "The need to protect history: Even with overwhelming proof social media promotes Holocaust denial"

01/27/2021

Milwaukee Independent featured Dyson Professor Adam Klein's piece "The need to protect history: Even with overwhelming proof social media promotes Holocaust denial"

That startling statistic was cited as one of the main reasons that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided in October to finally ban Holocaust denial across the social network. Denying the Holocaust ever happened is an enduring form of anti-Semitic propaganda that attempts to deny or minimize the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews during World War II.

Following Facebook’s lead, Twitter announced it, too, would remove any posts that denied the history of the Holocaust, though CEO Jack Dorsey appeared to contradict that policy at a Senate hearing weeks later.

Holocaust deniers have continued to emerge in social media, and perhaps predictably, many have migrated to less restrictive sites like Parler, where hashtags like #HolocaustNeverHappened and #HolocaustIsALie are widespread. “If you want Holocaust denial, hey, Parler is going to be great for you,” Bill Gates recently said of the social network.

While some tech companies address the rise in Holocaust revisionism, and others leave the door open, social networks have played an unwitting role in helping to distort the memory of these horrific events. But as a scholar who studies online extremism, I believe that same community could do more to protect Holocaust remembrance by highlighting the digitized accounts of those who lived through it.

Read the full Milwaukee Independent article.

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The Conversation - Indonesia (via the Good Men Project) featured Dyson Professor Adam Klein’s column "How To Fight Holocaust Denial in Social Media – With the Evidence of What Really Happened"

01/21/2021

The Conversation - Indonesia (via the Good Men Project) featured Dyson Professor Adam Klein’s column "How To Fight Holocaust Denial in Social Media – With the Evidence of What Really Happened"

One in four American millennials believe the Holocaust was exaggerated or entirely made up, according to a recent national survey that sought to find out what young adults know about the genocide of nearly 6 million Jews at the hands of Nazis some 80 years ago.

That startling statistic was cited as one of the main reasons that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided in October to finally ban Holocaust denial across the social network. Denying the Holocaust ever happened is an enduring form of anti-Semitic propaganda that attempts to deny or minimize the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews during World War II.

Read the full Conversation article.

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Informed Comment featured Professor Adam Klein’s piece "How to fight Holocaust denial in social media – with the evidence of what really happened"

12/07/2020

Informed Comment featured Professor Adam Klein’s piece "How to fight Holocaust denial in social media – with the evidence of what really happened"

One in four American millennials believe the Holocaust was exaggerated or entirely made up, according to a recent national survey that sought to find out what young adults know about the genocide of nearly 6 million Jews at the hands of Nazis some 80 years ago.

That startling statistic was cited as one of the main reasons that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided in October to finally ban Holocaust denial across the social network. Denying the Holocaust ever happened is an enduring form of anti-Semitic propaganda that attempts to deny or minimize the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews during World War II.

Following Facebook’s lead, Twitter announced it, too, would remove any posts that denied the history of the Holocaust, though CEO Jack Dorsey appeared to contradict that policy at a Senate hearing weeks later.

Holocaust deniers have continued to emerge in social media, and perhaps predictably, many have migrated to less restrictive sites like Parler, where hashtags like #HolocaustNeverHappened and #HolocaustIsALie are widespread. “If you want Holocaust denial, hey, Parler is going to be great for you,” Bill Gates recently said of the social network.

While some tech companies address the rise in Holocaust revisionism, and others leave the door open, social networks have played an unwitting role in helping to distort the memory of these horrific events. But as a scholar who studies online extremism, I believe that same community could do more to protect Holocaust remembrance by highlighting the digitized accounts of those who lived through it.

A decadeslong campaign

Holocaust denial has been a tool of anti-Semitic movements since the 1960s. Pseudo-academic groups like the Institute for Historical Review, for example, spent years working to distort the public’s aging memory of the Holocaust, which took place between 1933 and 1945.

They tried to cast doubt on the feasibility of the mass executions, and even the existence of the gas chambers. They held annual conferences and gathered fellow deniers to share their beliefs that these events were conjured up by the Jewish people mostly as a means to justify the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Read the full Informed Comment article.

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The Conversation featured Dyson Professor Adam Klein's piece "How to fight Holocaust denial in social media – with the evidence of what really happened"

12/04/2020

The Conversation featured Dyson Professor Adam Klein's piece "How to fight Holocaust denial in social media – with the evidence of what really happened"

One in four American millennials believe the Holocaust was exaggerated or entirely made up, according to a recent national survey that sought to find out what young adults know about the genocide of nearly 6 million Jews at the hands of Nazis some 80 years ago.

That startling statistic was cited as one of the main reasons that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided in October to finally ban Holocaust denial across the social network. Denying the Holocaust ever happened is an enduring form of anti-Semitic propaganda that attempts to deny or minimize the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews during World War II.

Following Facebook’s lead, Twitter announced it, too, would remove any posts that denied the history of the Holocaust, though CEO Jack Dorsey appeared to contradict that policy at a Senate hearing weeks later.

Holocaust deniers have continued to emerge in social media, and perhaps predictably, many have migrated to less restrictive sites like Parler, where hashtags like #HolocaustNeverHappened and #HolocaustIsALie are widespread. “If you want Holocaust denial, hey, Parler is going to be great for you,” Bill Gates recently said of the social network.

While some tech companies address the rise in Holocaust revisionism, and others leave the door open, social networks have played an unwitting role in helping to distort the memory of these horrific events. But as a scholar who studies online extremism, I believe that same community could do more to protect Holocaust remembrance by highlighting the digitized accounts of those who lived through it.

Read the full Conversation article.

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Associated Press featured associate professor of communication studies Adam Klein in "Trump, social media, right-wing news stir up antifa scares"

09/24/2020

Associated Press featured associate professor of communication studies Adam Klein in "Trump, social media, right-wing news stir up antifa scares"

Adam Klein, an associate professor of communication studies at Pace University, analyzed social media posts by far-right extremists and antifascist activists leading up to the Charlottesville rally three years ago. He found antifascists have a “pretty loose” communication network.“You don’t get the sense online that there is an organization as much as there are some prominent (social media) accounts associated with antifa,” he said.

Read the full Associated Press article.

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The Ridgefield Press featured Dyson Professor Adam G. Klein's piece "Social networks aim to erase hate but miss the target on guns"

07/21/2020

The Ridgefield Press featured Dyson Professor Adam G. Klein's piece "Social networks aim to erase hate but miss the target on guns"

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Adam G. Klein, Pace University

(THE CONVERSATION) As Facebook faces down a costly boycott campaign demanding the social network do more to combat hate speech, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced plans to ban a “wider category of hateful content in ads.” Twitter, YouTube and Reddit have also taken additional steps to curtail online hate, removing several inflammatory accounts.

But as social networks refine their policies and update algorithms for detecting extremism, they overlook a major source of hateful content: gun talk.

As a researcher of online extremism, I examined the user policies of social networks and found that while each address textbook forms of hate speech, they give a pass to the widespread use of gun rhetoric that celebrates or promotes violence.

In fact, the word “gun” appears but once in Facebook’s policy on “Violence and incitement” to bar the manipulation of images to include a gun to the head. And neither “guns” nor “firearms” are mentioned in Twitter’s policy on “Glorifications of violence,” or YouTube’s guidelines on “Violent or graphic content” or within any of these networks’ rules on hate speech.

Gun talk as a threat

Gun references have become prevalent in social media dialogues involving the nationwide protests over racial injustice, police reform and the Black Lives Matter movement.

On Facebook, a group called White Lives Matter shared a post that reads, “Don’t allow yourself or your property to become a victim of violence. Pick up your weapon and defend yourself.” Another user posted the picture of a handgun beneath the message, “I never carried a weapon, never needed it, but I have changed my mind and will apply for what I deem necessary to handle things my way … Tired of all these BLM idiots looters.”

While nearly every soci