Meta to Remove Posts Targeting Jews as 'Zionists' Amid Policy Update

By Madz Dizon

Jul 09, 2024 08:41 PM EDT

Meta to Remove Posts Targeting Jews as 'Zionists' Amid Policy Update
A smartphone and a computer screen displaying the logos of the Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and their parent company Meta.
(Photo : LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced that it will be taking stronger action to remove posts that target individuals based on their religious or national identity.

Specifically, the company will be focusing on posts that use the term "Zionists" to refer to Jewish people or Israelis in a derogatory manner.

Meta to Remove Posts Targeting 'Zionists'

Usually, Meta removes posts that target individuals based on their race, nationality, or religion. However, political affiliation is not considered a protected characteristic.

According to the company, there is a broader usage of the term "Zionist" to refer to Jewish or Israeli people, although it is primarily known as a political movement for establishing a Jewish state in the Middle East. 

The new perspective acknowledges that the term "Zionist" is occasionally used as an insult by those who oppose Israel, although it typically refers to the political movement advocating for a Jewish state.

According to Meta, the term is occasionally used as a substitute for "Jew" or "Israeli," often with a negative undertone. Meta shared the findings of its platform research and discussions with external experts earlier this year.

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Meta Updates Policy

Meta announced that it held meetings with over 145 historians, civil rights groups, legal and human rights experts, and free speech advocates from various countries to come to its conclusion. Meta has recently updated its terms to address the use of the term "Zionist" in certain contexts.

Specifically, Meta now prohibits the use of this term when it is associated with antisemitic claims about Jews controlling the world, comparisons between Jews and animals, calls for harm against Jews, denial of their existence, or mocking them for having a disease.

CNN reports that the company has requested guidance from its quasi-judicial oversight board regarding the moderation of posts that make accusations of war crimes against groups identified with "proxy terms for nationality" (including Zionists).

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