Facebook or Instagram posts that claim 'Zionists' control the world or run the media will be removed under the latests change to Meta's hate speech policy

San Francisco (AFP) - Meta on Tuesday said it will start removing posts that label Jews “Zionists” and target them for harm.

The latest update to Meta’s policy regarding use of the word “Zionist” comes as the tech titan behind Facebook and Instagram strives to balance free speech with hateful attacks on Jews.

“We will now remove content that targets ‘Zionists’ with dehumanizing comparisons, calls for harm, or denials of existence on the basis that ‘Zionist’ in those instances often appears to be a proxy for Jewish or Israeli people,” Meta said in a blog post.

The change expands on Meta’s approach of treating the reference as hate speech when it is used along with antisemitic imagery or clearly references the Jewish people.

Meta said it will remove content attacking “Zionists” when – rather than being tied to that political movement – it is pegged to antisemitic stereotypes such as claims they run the world or control the media.

Meta earlier this month said it is modifying its hate speech policy to take a more nuanced approach when it comes to whether the use of the Arabic word “shaheed,” which is commonly translated as “martyr”, is hate speech.

An independent oversight board referred to as a top court for Meta content moderation challenges had recommended the change and welcomed an easing of what has “effectively been a blanket ban” on the term “shaheed,” according to board member Paolo Carozza.