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(16,694 posts)
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 10:47 AM Jul 9

Meta: Update from the Policy Forum on our approach to 'Zionist' as a proxy for hate speech

We have revisited the issue of speech using the term "Zionists" at various times in recent years, and in March 2024 we examined it through our Policy Forum.

After hearing input and looking at research from different perspectives, we will now remove speech targeting “Zionists” in several areas where our process showed that the speech tends to be used to refer to Jews and Israelis with dehumanizing comparisons, calls for harm, or denials of existence.

One question that emerged during our Policy Forum is how to treat comparisons between proxy terms for nationality (including Zionists) and criminals (e.g., “Zionists are war criminals.”). As such, we referred a bundle of cases to our independent Oversight Board that tee up the issue of criminal comparisons. We look forward to any guidance the Board may provide.


We do not allow content that attacks people on the basis of protected characteristics such as nationality, race, or religion, among others. We do allow people to criticize adherents of political affiliations and ideologies. For example, we would remove a post that says, "People of ‘X religion’ are stupid," but we would allow, "Supporters of ‘X political movement’ are stupid." Sometimes people will criticize others using words that aren't explicit references to protected characteristics but are commonly understood to refer to those characteristics by proxy. When such proxy terms are used, we treat those terms as if they explicitly referred to the protected characteristic.

Our longstanding approach to the word “Zionist” under our Hate Speech policy has been to treat the word as a proxy for Jewish or Israeli people in two narrow circumstances: (1) where Zionists are compared to rats, reflecting known antisemitic imagery, and (2) where context makes clear that “Zionist” means “Jew” or “Israeli” (e.g., “Today the Jews celebrate Passover. I hate those Zionists.”). This approach will remain in place. However, we have determined that the existing policy guidance does not sufficiently address the ways people are using the term “Zionist” online and offline.

Going forward, we will remove content attacking “Zionists” when it is not explicitly about the political movement, but instead uses antisemitic stereotypes, or threatens other types of harm through intimidation, or violence directed against Jews or Israelis under the guise of attacking Zionists, including:

Claims about running the world or controlling the media;

Dehumanizing comparisons, such as comparisons to pigs, filth, or vermin;

Calls for physical harm;

Denials of existence;

Mocking for having a disease.

You can read the full policy here.


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Meta: Update from the Policy Forum on our approach to 'Zionist' as a proxy for hate speech (Original Post) Mosby Jul 9 OP
Wow, even Meta figured it out... NT AZSkiffyGeek Jul 9 #1
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