Some of the world’s biggest social media platforms have pledged to remove content that denies the Srebrenica Genocide.
Both Twitter and Google have confirmed they will remove such content following a request from the Institute for Research of Genocide Canada, asking them to ban denials on their platforms.
The Srebrenica Genocide took place in July 1995 in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys were massacred by units from the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska under the command of Ratko Mladic. The Scorpions, a group that had been a part of the Serbian Interior Ministry, also took part.
Thousands of women and children were attacked, raped, tortured, forcibly displaced, and killed.
The massacre was declared a genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice. It’s also the worst mass killing in Europe since WWII.
Denial of the genocide is widespread in certain circles. Several high-profile Serbian politicians have also denied it. In November 2018, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic denied that the massacres were an act of genocide. Aleksander Vulin, the Minister of Internal Affairs said that “Serbian people denied genocide rather than committed it.”
In June, Serbian President Aleksander Vucic spoke out after Montenegro banned Srebrenica Genocide denial. The ban came after Minister of Justice Vladimir Leposavic was dismissed for denying the massacre.
Leposavic argued that The Hague-based tribunal, which classified the massacre in Srebrenica as genocide, had no legitimacy, claiming the court had destroyed evidence about the organic trafficking of the organs of Serb civilians in Kosovo.
“I am ready to admit that the crime of genocide was committed in Srebrenica when it is unequivocally established,” Leposavic said in Parliament in March.
Following the letter sent to the platforms, RFE/RL contacted Twitter and Google for clarification.
Google stated that they have clear and established hate speech policies that prohibit content that minimizes or denies a well-documented event, “including the Srebrenica genocide. If content is found to violate these policies, we will remove it.” This applies to both Google and YouTube which is owned by them
Twitter sent a similar statement, confirming that such content would be removed.