Thursday, January 28, 2021

  • Thursday, January 28, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
I am honestly not sure if this is pure stupidity or a bizarre effort to gain media attention.

Jewish Voice for Peace has launched a campaign and website to pressure Facebook not to implement a policy that there is very little evidence it was contemplating.

Supposedly, in November, a Facebook official reached out to...someone...asking for a conversation to see if the word "Zionist" is sometimes used as a pejorative term for Jews.

 I'm reaching out to you about a topic which I was hoping to have a conversation with you on. As you know, in the context of our hate speech  policy, we do not allow content that attacks people based on a protected characteristic (e.g., race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation). Under the same policy, we also remove violating attacks where proxies or codewords are used by way of substitute for a protected characteristic. 
In that context, we are looking at the question of how we should interpret attacks on "Zionists" to determine whether the term is used as a proxy for attacking Jewish or Israeli people. The term brings with it much history and various meanings, and we are looking to increase our understanding of how it is used by people on our platform. 
We wanted to ask whether you would be willing to have a conversation with us about "Zionist" in the context of our policies. We are happy to provide you with more information when we speak. 
Any Zionist knows that the word Zionist is sometimes used as an insult. It all depends on context. Calling someone a "F*ing Zionist" is just as offensive as calling someone a "F*ing queer," but it doesn't mean that the words "Zionist" or "queer" are offensive. 

Facebook merely wanted to clarify in what ways it might be able to tell when the word is used as a codeword for Jews, something that we have seen happen countless times. 

I have no idea whether Facebook can tell the difference between when the word is used as a pejorative and when it is a compliment. I frankly don't trust Facebook to understand anything at all about offensive speech. 

But JVP is hallucinating.

JVP is pretending that this letter is part of an Israeli government campaign to silence Palestinians.

What’s happening at Facebook?

Right now, Facebook is reaching out to stakeholders to ask if critical conversations that use the term “Zionist” fall within the rubric of hate speech as per Facebook’s Community Standards. Basically, Facebook is assessing if “Zionist” is being used as a proxy for “Jewish people or Israelis” in attacks on its platform. 

This move is part of a concerning pattern of the Israeli government and its supporters pressuring Facebook and other social media platforms to expand their hate speech policies to include speech critical of Israel and Zionism.

Facebook says it will make a decision as soon as the end of February 2021.

Why is this happening?

The Israeli government and its supporters falsely claim that equating “Zionist” with “Jew” or “Jewish” will help fight antisemitism. In reality, they hope that that by mischaracterizing critical use of the term “Zionists” as anti-Jewish, they can avoid accountability for its policies and actions that violate Palestinian human rights.

Attempts to stifle conversations about Zionist political ideology and Zionist policies carried out by state actors — both of which have real implications for Palestinian and Israeli people, as well as Jewish and Palestinian people around the world — are part of an emerging pattern of political censorship by the Israeli government and some of its supporters.

I'm a Zionist. Israelis are, by and large, Zionists. The Israeli government is Zionist. The idea that we want to ban the word "Zionist" from social media is perhaps the dumbest thing I've heard this week. Does that mean that the Zionist Organization of America would be banned from Facebook? 

(The link that they chose to pretend that Zionists are trying to ban the word "Zionist" points to a truly bizarre Salon article that claims that calling Israelis Nazis is not antisemitic - but that Zionists are the real antisemites. Yet even that crazed article doesn't claim that Israel is trying to ban the word "Zionist.")


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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