In 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg quoted Holocaust deniers in a fiddly attempt to clarify freedom of speech.
At the time, he said the deniers – those who oppose or distort the Holocaust, a genocide in which millions of Jews and others were killed by Nazis and their associates during World War II – were a key example of people he was with personally did not agree. But he didn't say Facebook shouldn't censor or remove what they posted, "because I think there are things different people are doing wrong."
On Monday, Mr Zuckerberg announced that he would reverse his decision. Facebook, he said, is now banning content that "denies or distorts the Holocaust."
In announcing the change, Facebook cited a recent poll that found that nearly a quarter of American adults ages 18 to 39 said the Holocaust was either a myth, an exaggeration, or unsure whether it was it took place.
"I struggle with the tension between advocating free speech and the harm caused by minimizing or rejecting the horrors of the Holocaust," Zuckerberg wrote in his blog post. "It is not easy to draw the right line between acceptable and unacceptable language, but given the current state of the world, I believe that this is the right balance."
Mr Zuckerberg has said repeatedly that he doesn't want Facebook to be an arbiter of freedom of speech. The Silicon Valley company has received widespread criticism for this stance, including by civil rights groups who said Facebook allowed toxic language and misinformation to flow uncontrollably on its website. Many have asked Mr. Zuckerberg to reconsider his position.
More recently, the social network has become more active when it comes to removing content, including the ban on the QAnon conspiracy movement and a stronger line against hate and vigilante groups. Facebook has said it has made some changes as QAnon has been linked to real-world damage and vigilante groups have been arrested for acts of violence.
Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would reassess its stance on freedom of speech.