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

May 16th, 2019 2:06 PM

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.


L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President

Media Research Center


James O’Keefe

Founder and President

Project Veritas


Elaine Donnelly


Center for Military Readiness


Everett Piper, PhD


Oklahoma Wesleyan University


Kevin Freeman


NSIC Institute


Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West

(US Army, Retired)

Member, 112th US Congress

Senior Fellow, Media Research Center

Floyd Brown


Western Journal


Gene Mills


Louisiana Family Forum


Christie-Lee McNally

Executive Director

Free Our Internet


Tony Perkins


Family Research Council


David N. Bossie


Citizens United


Dr. Ted Baehr

The Christian Film & Television Commission


Gary Bauer


American Values


Mark J. Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.


Tricia Erickson


Angel Pictures & Publicity, Inc.


Lady Brigitte Gabriel

Founder & Chairman

ACT for America


Steven Ertelt



Terry Schilling

Executive Director

American Principles Project


John-Henry Westen

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief


Morton Blackwell


The Weyrich Lunch


Ron Robinson


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


Louisiana Family Forum


Frank Gaffney

Founder and Executive Chairman

Center for Security Policy


Saulius “Saul” Anuzis


60 Plus Association


James L. Martin


60 Plus Association


Tim Wildmon


American Family Association


Jeff Hunt


Centennial Institute


Austin Ruse


Center for Family and Human Rights


John Hinderaker


Center of the American Experiment


James Nolan


Crossroads Pro-Life Walks Across America


Tom McCabe


Freedom Foundation


Tim Huelskamp


The Heartland Institute


Charles Copeland


Intercollegiate Studies Institute


Brian Brown


International Organization for the Family


Lila Rose


Live Action


Ryan Bomberger

President and CEO

Radiance Foundation


Paul Gessing


Rio Grande Foundation


Diana Banister


Shirley & Banister Public Affairs


Kristan Hawkins


Students for Life of America


Jenny Beth Martin


Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund


C. Preston Noell


Tradition Family Property


Joseph Farah

Founder and CEO



Amy Kremer


Women for Trump