Meta enhances hate speech policy to address ‘Anti-Zionist’ content

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, has announced a significant update to its hate speech policy, expanding its efforts to remove posts that target “Zionists” when the term is used to attack Jewish people and Israelis. This policy shift aims to curb antisemitic content that veils itself under political discourse but carries harmful stereotypes or incites violence.

In a recent blog post, Meta detailed the change, clarifying that it will now remove content that attacks “Zionists” not explicitly in reference to the political movement but used as a proxy to harm Jewish or Israeli individuals. This move addresses the broader misuse of the term, which has been identified as a gap in the existing policies that only treated “Zionist” as a proxy in limited contexts.

Meta’s hate speech policy is designed to protect individuals based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, disability, and gender identity. This policy update, which emerged from consultations with 145 stakeholders from civil society and academia worldwide, reflects Meta’s ongoing response to the rising tensions in the Middle East, particularly amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The company has faced longstanding criticism over its handling of content related to the Middle East, with recent escalations in the Israel-Hamas conflict intensifying accusations of bias. Rights groups have accused Meta of suppressing pro-Palestinian content on its platforms. This policy update is part of Meta’s broader efforts to balance content moderation while addressing hate speech and protecting vulnerable communities online.

Written by Sophie Blake


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