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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Meta to Remove Misuse of 'Zionist' in Anti-Semitic Contexts


Wed 10 Jul 2024 | 11:40 AM
Israa Farhan

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced a new policy to remove posts that use the term "Zionist" in a dehumanizing manner or with anti-Semitic stereotypes when referring to Jews or Israelis.

Meta will now remove content targeting "Zionists" in contexts where investigations have shown the term is used to refer to Jews and Israelis with dehumanizing comparisons or calls for harm.

This policy change follows a study initiated by Meta to understand how the term "Zionist" is used on its platforms, driven by the increasing polarization of public discourse due to Middle Eastern events.

The investigation involved historians, human rights experts, and various associations to determine whether the term "Zionist" was being used to refer to political supporters, Jews, or Israelis.

While general attacks on party members are allowed, targeting groups based on nationality or religion is prohibited.

Meta's research revealed no general consensus on the term's meaning. However, findings showed the term is often used in hate speech against Jews and Israelis. As a result, Meta will now remove content targeting "Zionists" with hateful language.

Examples of misuse include claims that "Zionists" control the world or the media, dehumanizing comparisons to pigs, filth, or insects, and calls for physical violence.

Previously, Meta only removed content that explicitly compared Zionists to rats or targeted Jews and Israelis in obvious hate speech.

Meta also recently relaxed its rules regarding the use of the word "martyr" in Arabic, which had been banned as incitement to hatred.

This shift indicates a broader re-evaluation of content moderation policies to balance free speech and hate speech prevention.

This new policy aims to curb the spread of anti-Semitic rhetoric on Meta's platforms, fostering a safer online environment. As Meta continues to refine its content moderation practices, the response from users and advocacy groups will likely shape further adjustments.