From The Forward:
Ari Feldman August 13, 2020
What finally pushed Facebook to announce it would take down posts that make reference to Jewish control of the world, or that include “caricatures of black people in the form of blackface” — two forms of hate that are well over a century old?
Was it the letter, sent August 5, from the attorneys general of 20 states to Mark Zuckerberg, telling the company to do more to prevent hate content and abuse on its platform?
Was it the open letter, published August 7, from more than 120 Jewish organizations urging Facebook to adopt an internationally known definition of anti-Semitism, and to take down posts that meet the definition?
Was it the ad boycott begun this summer, led by the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, that saw major multinational companies sign on in support and even led to a brief dip in Facebook’s stock price?According to Facebook, none of the above.
The idea of banning content that promotes stereotypes of Jewish global control came up a year ago, in a meeting with several Jewish groups convened by Facebook, and was pushed primarily by the World Jewish Congress.
“We applaud Facebook for its leadership and hope this move will be a guiding light for other social media companies to follow,” Ronald Lauder, president of the Congress, said in a statement to Jewish Insider about Facebook’s update.
It took a year to come up with what Facebook calls an “operational policy” on Jewish global control because of the policy deliberations, wordsmithing and data and image analysis involved, said Jordana Cutler, Facebook’s head of policy in Israel and a liaison to Jewish diaspora groups: determining which images and statements will be impacted and identifying offending memes to look out for. The process was also slowed by the pandemic, as people on the team shaping this policy focused time on Covid-19 misinformation.
The site now officially bans content that references “Jewish people running the world or controlling major institutions such as media networks, the economy or the government.” …
In a statement, Daniel Elbaum, the AJC’s Chief Advocacy Officer, called Facebook’s new policy “a step in the right direction and reflective of our ongoing conversations with Facebook officials in the United States, Europe, and Israel.”