Conservative Leaders Call for Social Media Giants to Clarify Hate Speech Rules on Anti-Semitism

On Thursday, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and other conservative leaders released the following joint letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. They described the “alarming rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic rhetoric in public discourse, especially online” and called for clarification on social media rules regarding hate speech policies. 

The full letter can be found below: 

May 16, 2019

Dear Mr. Dorsey & Mr. Zuckerberg,

 

We are writing to you today about the alarming rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic rhetoric in public discourse, especially online. We are asking for clarity on whether your rules governing “hate speech” on your platforms apply to anti-Semitic rhetoric, and what your policies are to address those who traffic in such speech.

Recently, the New York Times triggered a national uproar when it ran an anti-Semitic cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog on a leash held by President Trump. The Times apologized for running the cartoon, but questions remain as to why the editors of the paper allowed it to be run in the first place. Then the Times printed another anti-Netanyahu cartoon. This time the paper depicted him as a blind Moses-like figure holding a tablet with the Israeli flag on it instead of the Ten Commandments. The Times issued a statement that it was suspending the publication of cartoons, but claimed that this cartoon did not fall into the same category as the first one.

Earlier this year, U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar used an anti-Semitic trope or stereotype by painting Jews as both money and power hungry in a tweet referring to AIPAC that said “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” a reference to a song about $100 bills. The comments were rightly criticized in a bipartisan fashion. Omar had to apologize, but she keeps making the same type of comments.

Now U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib has come forward and made the comment that she has a “calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust.” These comments are not out of context. The downplaying of the Holocaust was made on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.” She won’t even apologize.

The Free Speech Alliance (FSA) is a coalition of more than 45 organizations dedicated to holding online companies like Facebook accountable for fair treatment of conservatives. The FSA was formed because of well-documented efforts to silence conservatives in the public discourse online.

Among the stated goals of the FSA is the demand for clarity in the rules governing hate speech on your platform and the assurance that those rules are applied evenly. Therefore, we ask that you answer the following questions about your policies towards anti-Semitic speech.

1) Do you join with Jewish leaders in condemning the comments made by Representatives Omar and Tlaib as anti-Semitic rhetoric?

2) Do you consider anti-Semitic rhetoric hate speech in violation of your terms of service?

3) Is it consistent with your terms of service to allow individuals, or organizations, who express anti-Semitic rhetoric to remain on your platform?

We look forward to your prompt reply clarifying your rules and their application. We will publish your response in its entirety.
 

Sincerely,
 

L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President

Media Research Center

 

James O’Keefe

Founder and President

Project Veritas

 

Elaine Donnelly

President

Center for Military Readiness

 

Everett Piper, PhD

President

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

 

Kevin Freeman

Founder

NSIC Institute

 

Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West

(US Army, Retired)

Member, 112th US Congress

Senior Fellow, Media Research Center

Floyd Brown

Publisher

Western Journal

 

Gene Mills

President

Louisiana Family Forum

 

Christie-Lee McNally

Executive Director

Free Our Internet

 

Tony Perkins

President

Family Research Council

 

David N. Bossie

President

Citizens United

 

Dr. Ted Baehr

The Christian Film & Television Commission


 

Gary Bauer

President

American Values

 

Mark J. Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.

 

Tricia Erickson

President

Angel Pictures & Publicity, Inc.

 

Lady Brigitte Gabriel

Founder & Chairman

ACT for America

 

Steven Ertelt

Editor

LifeNews.com

 

Terry Schilling

Executive Director

American Principles Project

 

John-Henry Westen

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief

LifeSiteNews.com

 

Morton Blackwell

Chairman

The Weyrich Lunch

 

Ron Robinson

President

Young America’s Foundation


 

Rod D. Martin

Founder & CEO

The Martin Organization, Inc.

 

Mat Staver

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel

 

Justin Danhof

General Counsel

National Center for Public Policy Research

 

Susan Carleson

Chairman and CEO

The American Civil Rights Union

 

Gene Mills

President

Louisiana Family Forum

 

Frank Gaffney

Founder and Executive Chairman

Center for Security Policy

 

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis

President

60 Plus Association

 

James L. Martin

Founder/Chairman

60 Plus Association

 

Tim Wildmon

President

American Family Association

 

Jeff Hunt

Director

Centennial Institute

 

Austin Ruse

President

Center for Family and Human Rights


 

John Hinderaker

President

Center of the American Experiment

 

James Nolan

President

Crossroads Pro-Life Walks Across America

 

Tom McCabe

CEO

Freedom Foundation

 

Tim Huelskamp

President

The Heartland Institute

 

Charles Copeland

President

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

 

Brian Brown

President

International Organization for the Family

 

Lila Rose

President

Live Action

 

Ryan Bomberger

President and CEO

Radiance Foundation

 

Paul Gessing

President

Rio Grande Foundation

 

Diana Banister

President

Shirley & Banister Public Affairs

 

Kristan Hawkins

President

Students for Life of America

 

Jenny Beth Martin

Chairman

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund

 

C. Preston Noell

President

Tradition Family Property

 

Joseph Farah

Founder and CEO

WND

 

Amy Kremer

Co-Chair

Women for Trump

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