Meta Considers Revisiting Its Hate Speech Policy After Massive Concern Over ‘Zionist’ Terminology

Tech giant Meta is under pressure after greater concern grew surrounding its respective hate speech policy.

Many users were wary about the terminology linked to zionists and how it was being used for posts linked to the Arab and Jewish communities. 

The policy currently enables the use of the term in a political discourse. Still, it was removed when it had to do with Jews or Israelis directly, especially when it was in the context of a violent or dehumanizing manner. This was just confirmed through an email generated by a Meta rep who mentioned that it planned to invite others to discuss the matter in the future, as first spotted by TheIntercept.

Meanwhile, the email further mentioned how the firm considered reviewing this in context to posts and concerns of users who were the real stakeholders on this front.

This means we might soon be witnessing a possible change in policy while advocacy groups (including MPower Change and 7amleh) were seen questioning how these policies were getting enforced, and that entails whether the posts were made by the platform’s algorithm or humans.

For a while now, we’ve seen Meta be blasted for rolling out measures that were unfair as all pro-Palestinian content was getting censored as mentioned by one Meta rep.

The groups rolled out questions regarding such policies and how they would get enforced for detection and censoring of this kind of language.

The AI-based systems are designed to flag all posts deemed problematic. Right now, there’s no kind of human review and such firms were the ones who happened to be in attendance during the meeting taking place with tech giant Meta.

Right before that meeting took center stage, a whopping 73 different firms generated a letter to the company that added how extensions generated to the policy could mischaracterize chats regarding zionists. They would treat that as proxies and would encourage acts linked to Israel as well as antisemitism.

The move was designed to stop Palestinians from rolling out daily experiences from the world.

During the meeting, Meta shared examples of how plenty of posts would soon be removed and they included posts where zionists were dubbed rats.

Such kinds of decisions regarding content moderation would not include track records that were reliable and had to do with Palestinian protection and speech.

In this letter, the firms expressed serious concern about the lack of replies to the rise in censorship of content generated in favor of Palestinians. This has been at an all-time high for quite some time now.

The proposal is ineffective in combatting measures like antisemitism. It ignores issues fueled by the likes of Palestinian oppression during a time when so many courts and experts in the field of human rights would accept that something as severe as genocide is taking place in the Palestinian region.

“There is a real danger that such policy revisions would stifle free expression of voices speaking out against the Israeli government’s systematic violations of Palestinian rights, and its ongoing onslaught in Gaza, where a real and imminent risk of genocide looms large.”, expressed Alia Al Ghussain, Researcher and Advisor on Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights at Amnesty Tech.

Meta's policy allows the term "Zionists" in political discourse but removes it when linked to Jews or Israelis in a violent context.
Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen/HumanEdited

Read next: Meta Changes How Instagram and Threads Handle Political Content
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