Times Holocaust story provokes global web backlash

Times education editor Alexandra Frean has issued a cautionary tale about the “power of the internet to inform and misinform” after a story was picked up overseas, misinterpreted and used as part of a viral campaign.

It all started with a 164-word story in The Times last April, reporting that some schools were steering away from controversial subjects such as the Holocaust in history lessons.

Frean received hundreds of “hysterical and offensive” emails from American readers, who thought the Holocaust had been removely entirely from the British curriculum. The backlash prompted children’s secretary Ed Balls to issue an official denial last week.

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