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Meta to Implement New Hate Speech Policy Against Anti-Zionist Content

Meta to Implement New Hate Speech Policy Against Anti-Zionist Content

Meta has announced a significant update to its content moderation policies, focusing on posts that label Jews as “Zionists” and target them for harm. This change aims to curb antisemitism while balancing free speech. The new policy will see the removal of content that uses “Zionists” in a dehumanizing manner, calls for harm, or denies their existence, as these instances often serve as proxies for attacking Jewish or Israeli people.

“We will now remove content that targets ‘Zionists’ with dehumanizing comparisons, calls for harm, or denials of existence on the basis that ‘Zionist’ in those instances often appears to be a proxy for Jewish or Israeli people,” Meta stated in a blog post.

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This policy update expands Meta’s existing approach, where references to “Zionists” are treated as hate speech when used alongside antisemitic imagery or when clearly referring to Jewish people. Meta will now also remove content attacking “Zionists” if it perpetuates antisemitic stereotypes, such as claims that they control the world or the media.

In a related development, Meta recently adjusted its hate speech policy concerning the use of the Arabic word “shaheed,” commonly translated as “martyr.” The independent oversight board, often seen as a top court for Meta’s content moderation challenges, had recommended a more nuanced approach to the term. The board welcomed the easing of what had been a blanket ban on “shaheed,” with board member Paolo Carozza noting the significance of this change.

Meta’s latest measures highlight its ongoing efforts to navigate the complex landscape of content moderation, striving to mitigate hate speech while respecting the boundaries of free expression.