Meta to remove posts using ‘Zionist’ as antisemitic guise

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Meta to remove posts using ‘Zionist’ as antisemitic guise

The term ‘Zionist’ will be removed when they are found to: Invoke harmful antisemitic stereotypes, dehumanise Jews, call for harm towards Jews, or deny the existence of Zionists

Meta announced on Tuesday that it will now remove speech targeting “Zionists” which “tends to be used to refer to Jews and Israelis with dehumanising comparisons, calls for harm, or denials of existence.”

Meta said it “revisited the issue” of speech using the term “Zionists” at various times in recent years, and decided to change its policy after
“hearing input and looking at research from different perspectives.”

“Going forward, we will remove content attacking ‘Zionists’ when it is not explicitly about the political movement, but instead uses antisemitic stereotypes, or threatens other types of harm through intimidation, or violence directed against Jews or Israelis under the guise of attacking Zionists, including: Claims about running the world or controlling the media; Dehumanising comparisons, such as comparisons to pigs, filth, or vermin; Calls for physical harm; Denials of existence; Mocking for having a disease,” Meta said in a statement. 

World Jewish Congress applauded Meta, calling it a “landmark” decision which marks a “significant step in combating the veiled antisemitism that has proliferated under the guise of political discourse and has skyrocketed since October 7.”

“Meta’s decision is a much-needed advancement in our ongoing fight against online antisemitism and hatred. By recognising and addressing the misuse of the term ‘Zionist,’ Meta is taking a bold stand against those who seek to mask their hatred of Jews,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said.

“We appreciate that Meta has truly listened to the voices of Jewish communities that we work with. This policy change will help create a safer, more respectful online environment for everyone. I hope all other platforms will follow Meta’s leadership and take similar action,” he added.

Yfat Barak-Cheney, WJC’s Director of Technology and Human Rights, said WJC made “considerable progress in the global effort to keep antisemitism and hate speech from spreading on the internet. Meta’s policy change – the product of years of engagement with WJC – is a significant milestone in this ongoing effort particularly as hate speech targeting Jews has risen in the wake of the October 7 attacks.”

“The WJC looks forward to continuing its collaboration with Meta and other technology companies to develop policies that combat online hate and protect vulnerable communities. We will work together to ensure that this change is enforced on all Meta platforms,” Barak-Cheney added.

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