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Jewish Policy Center joins 100 NGOs Calling on Facebook to Create a Comprehensive Hate Speech Policy on Antisemitism

Jewish Policy Center

WASHINGTON, DC — Today a coalition of over 100 NGO’s, including the Jewish Policy Center, StopAntisemitism.org, and Zachor Legal Institute, submitted a letter to Facebook, urging the giant social media platform to implement a comprehensive hate speech policy on antisemitism that incorporates the full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

Online antisemitism has spiked in recent years. Community standards on Facebook and other social media platforms have failed to address the growing threat. Facebook’s Director of Content Policy Stakeholder Engagement, Peter Stern, shared in a webcast last May that Facebook did not have a robust policy aimed at combatting online antisemitism. While he described the usefulness of the IHRA working definition, he admitted that the company did not fully embrace it.  More recently, in June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly committed to revising the company’s policies to fight hate speech.

The IHRA definition on antisemitism was already adopted by the U.S. State Department and over 40 other countries. The coalition explains “the full IHRA working definition of antisemitism provides Facebook an effective, neutral, and nuanced tool to protect Jewish users from hate speech and imagery that incites hate and oftentimes leads to violence.”

The letter follows the findings and recommendations outlined in “The New Antisemites”, which documents how the global rise in antisemitism has been driven by social media.  The report, presented by StopAntisemitism.org and Zachor Legal Institute last December, and endorsed by over 60 American NGOs, describes online antisemitism as “one of the most acute forms of antisemitism today”.

President of Zachor Legal Institute Marc Greendorfer said:

“Today’s antisemitism is particularly potent online. Our New Antisemites reports demonstrate how it breeds new forms of the age-old hatred manifesting in the delegitimization campaign against Israel which is blatantly antisemitic according to the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. Hate speech and hate crimes are highly correlated. Social media platforms must assume responsibility to protect users and combat this inciteful hatred. The volume and velocity at which antisemitism grows online requires greater responsibility on behalf of the platforms that enable them to spread. There is no free pass to amplifying antisemitism. We’re not just fighting hate speech; we’re fighting for people’s safety.”

The JPC has joined the StopAntisemitism.org coalition, which works to hold antisemites accountable and to create consequences for their bigoted actions by exposing the threat that they present to all Americans and showing how their ideologies conflict with American values, morals, and principles. To learn more, please visit www.StopAntisemitism.org.

About Zachor Legal Institute: Zachor Legal Institute uses the law to defend against antisemitism, with a focus on opposing BDS. To learn more, please visit  www.ZachorLegal.org.