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Is Meta expanding its hate speech policy to remove more posts targeting 'Zionists'?

Meta Expands Hate Speech Policy to Address Anti-Zionist Content

Rules to delete

Meta Platforms announced on Tuesday that it will begin removing more posts targeting "Zionists" when the term is used to refer to Jewish people and Israelis, rather than supporters of the political movement. This change aims to eliminate content that includes antisemitic stereotypes or threats of harm against Jews or Israelis.


Meta's hate speech policy prohibits direct attacks on individuals based on protected characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, disability, and gender identity. The company acknowledged that its previous policies, which treated the term "Zionist" as a proxy for Jewish or Israeli people only in limited cases, did not adequately address broader uses of the term.


The update follows consultations with 145 stakeholders from civil society and academia worldwide and comes amid escalating tensions in the Middle East due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Meta has faced criticism over its handling of Middle East-related content, with accusations of suppressing pro-Palestinian posts on Facebook and Instagram since the conflict began.


Key Points

  • Policy Expansion: Meta will now remove more posts targeting "Zionists" when the term is used to refer to Jewish people and Israelis, especially if the content includes antisemitic stereotypes or threats of harm.

  • Protected Characteristics: Meta's hate speech policy prohibits attacks on individuals based on race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, disability, and gender identity.

  • Global Consultations: The update follows discussions with 145 stakeholders worldwide and comes amid rising Middle East tensions, addressing criticisms of Meta's handling of related content.


FAQs

Q1: What changes has Meta made to its hate speech policy?

Meta has expanded its policy to remove more posts that target "Zionists" when the term is used to refer to Jewish people and Israelis, especially if the content includes antisemitic stereotypes or threats of harm.


Q2: Why is Meta making this change?

Meta is making this change to better address the broader use of the term "Zionist" and to protect Jewish and Israeli individuals from content that uses antisemitic stereotypes or threats.


Q3: What is considered a "protected characteristic" under Meta's policy?

Protected characteristics include race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, disability, and gender identity. Meta's policy prohibits direct attacks on individuals based on these attributes.


Q4: What prompted Meta to update this policy now?

The update comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East and follows consultations with 145 civil society and academia stakeholders, aiming to address long-standing criticisms of Meta's content moderation.


Q5: How does Meta ensure its policies are fair and effective?

Meta consults with global stakeholders, including civil society and academia, to continually refine its policies and address emerging issues, ensuring fair and effective content moderation.


Q6: How will this policy update impact users?

Users may see more content being removed if it targets "Zionists" in a harmful way, helping to create a safer environment for Jewish and Israeli individuals on Meta's platforms.


Reference

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