Facebook updates policy on antisemitism, moving closer to IHRA definition

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Facebook has updated its policies to better combat antisemitic speech on its platform, Facebook’s Vice President for Integrity, Guy Rosen, announced in a blog post on Tuesday.

Facebook has come in for sustained criticism over its policy on hate speech after cases of Holocaust denial and antisemitism were allowed to remain on the site. But the social media giant is now taking steps to more closely conform with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA's) working definition of antisemitism, which includes making dehumanizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews, such as the myth of a world Jewish conspiracy or Jews controlling the media.

"We’ve made progress combating hate on our apps, but we know we have more to do to ensure everyone feels comfortable using our services," Rosen wrote. "That’s why we’ve established new inclusive teams and task forces, including the Instagram Equity Team and the Facebook Inclusive Product Council, to help us build products that are deliberately fair and inclusive, and we’re launching a Diversity Advisory Council that will provide input based on lived experience on a variety of topics and issues."

Rosen continued: "We’re also updating our policies to more specifically account for certain kinds of implicit hate speech, such as content depicting blackface, or stereotypes about Jewish people controlling the world."

The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), a non-partisan, global grassroots movement of people and organizations of all faiths, has welcomed the move.

“The updated policy on hate speech announced today by Facebook is a significant step in the right direction to combat online antisemitism," CAM's director, Sacha Roytman-Dratwa said: "For too long, social media platforms have been something of a ‘safe space’ for antisemites who wish to spread hatred against Jews, often reviving centuries-old stereotypes.

“When hatred and bigotry is permitted online, it is quickly replicated in real life and so we applaud the new Facebook policy prohibiting some of the most damaging antisemitic stereotypes. Although there is plenty more work to be done, Facebook has today set a strong example to all social media platforms.”

Source: jpost