Will Facebook Policy Flag the Word 'Zionist' as Sensitive as the Word 'Jewish'?

Published February 2nd, 2021 - 09:33 GMT
Will Facebook Policy Flag the Word 'Zionist' as Sensitive as the Word 'Jewish'?
Social media activists are warning that Facebook and other platforms may be leaving less and less room for them to advocate for Palestinian rights. (Shutterstock: Burdun Iliya)

Using the words "Facebook we need to talk," many online people have been discussing the new community rules adapted by the largest social network online, one that has drawn increasing worries over the past few weeks, as social media platforms have become more politically involved than ever.

Amongst the discussions over Facebook's new policies is one connected to public criticism towards Israel on the platform. According to many social media users, criticizing Israeli policies on Facebook especially ones against the Palestinian population that lives under Israeli military control has been increasingly more challenging; as Facebook has been banning political speech against actions of the Israeli government marking them as anti-semitic.

Moreover, pro-Palestinian online commentators have warned that Israeli pressure groups might be urging Facebook to equate the word "Zionist" often used to describe Israeli nationalists with the word "Jewish," which are not necessarily correlated.

Concerned with tightening restrictions on criticism against Israel, social media activists are warning that Facebook and other platforms may be leaving less and less room for them to advocate for Palestinian rights and their right to self-determination.

In recent weeks, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have been facing criticism over getting involved in US politics, banning the former US President Donald Trump in the aftermath of an attack carried out by his supporters on the US Capitol; as legislators were convening to certify his successor Joe Biden's win. Since then, social networks have been exerting extra efforts to monitor users' activities "in efforts to stop hate and violent speeches."


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