Meta Expands Hate Speech Policy to Remove More Posts Targeting 'Zionists'

Palestinians mourn over the bodies of loved ones following Israeli bombardment in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on July 10, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Palestinians mourn over the bodies of loved ones following Israeli bombardment in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on July 10, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
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Meta Expands Hate Speech Policy to Remove More Posts Targeting 'Zionists'

Palestinians mourn over the bodies of loved ones following Israeli bombardment in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on July 10, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Palestinians mourn over the bodies of loved ones following Israeli bombardment in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on July 10, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

Meta Platforms said on Tuesday it would start taking down more posts that target "Zionists", where the term is used to refer to Jewish people and Israelis rather than representing supporters of the political movement.
The Facebook and Instagram parent said in a blog post it would remove content "attacking 'Zionists' when it is not explicitly about the political movement" and uses antisemitic stereotypes or threatens harm through intimidation or violence directed against Jews or Israelis.
Meta's hate speech policy prohibits direct attacks on people on the basis of what it calls protected characteristics, which include race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, disability and gender identity, among others, Reuters reported.
The social media giant said its existing policies, which treat the term "Zionist" as a proxy for Jewish or Israeli people in just two narrow circumstances, did not sufficiently address the ways people use the word more broadly.
The policy update, which follows Meta's consultations with 145 stakeholders representing civil society and academia across global regions, comes as tensions escalate in the Middle East amid the Israel-Hamas war.
Meta has been criticized for years on how it handles content involving the Middle East, and those criticisms shot up further after the start of the war, with rights groups accusing the company of suppressing content supportive of Palestinians on Facebook and Instagram.



Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
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Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Bangladesh extended a curfew on Sunday to control violent student-led protests that have killed at least 114 people, as authorities braced for a Supreme Court hearing later in the day on government job quotas that sparked the anger.
Soldiers have been on patrol on the streets of capital Dhaka, the center of the demonstrations that spiraled into clashes between protesters and security forces, Reuters said.
Internet and text message services in Bangladesh have been suspended since Thursday, cutting the nation off as police cracked down on protesters who defied a ban on public gatherings.
A curfew ordered late on Friday has been extended to 3 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Sunday, until after the Supreme Court hearing, and will continue for an "uncertain time" following a two-hour break for people to gather supplies, local media reported.
Universities and colleges have also been closed since Wednesday.
Nationwide unrest broke out following student anger against quotas for government jobs that included reserving 30% for the families of those who fought for independence from Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government had scrapped the quota system in 2018, but a court reinstated it last month.
The Supreme Court suspended the decision after a government appeal and will hear the case on Sunday after agreeing to bring forward a hearing scheduled for Aug. 7.
The demonstrations - the biggest since Hasina was re-elected for a fourth successive term this year - have also been fueled by high unemployment among young people, who make up nearly a fifth of the population.
The US State Department on Saturday raised its travel advisory for Bangladesh to level four, urging American citizens to not travel to the South Asian country.