The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect found itself on the wrong side of the recently introduced Facebook moderation system on Monday. The group attempted to share her new study on the Holocaust awareness in America but Facebook blocked the post while the same post went through on Twitter.
The center wrote Facebook to demand an explanation but received no response from Facebook. After two days of no response from Facebook, the company called out Facebook for a misstep. “You removed our post promoting the need for Holocaust Education for apparently violating community standards,” the Center posted on its Twitter handle on Wednesday morning. “You have not given us a reason.”
It seems the image attached to the post which depicts a group of nude, emaciated children triggered Facebook’s nudity policy, although the poor quality and age of the image obscures much of the scene.
After a few hours the Frank Center went public about the post’s removal, Facebook restored the post and apologized for the error. A Facebook representative says, “As our Community Standards explain, we don’t allow people to post nude images of children on Facebook.” “We recognize that the image shared by the Anne Frank Center is historically important and significant, and was restored on that basis.”
When we reached the Anne Frank Center for a comment, Alexandra Devitt struck a troubling contrast with Facebook’s lax approach to pages that deny the Holocaust. “While Facebook removes our post promoting the need to educate on the past, it continues to allow pages and posts that directly deny the reality of the deaths of over six million people.” Devitt also says, “If Facebook is serious about its community standards it should begin tackling Holocaust denial and not the organizations who are trying to educate people on history, facts and discrimination.”
This is not the first time Facebook has struggled with nudity images that are historically important. An iconic news photo from the Vietnam War was also blocked by the platform in 2016 for showing naked 9 years old girl fleeing a napalm strike. After a public outcry, citing the historical importance of the image, Facebook restored the post.