By COLlive reporter
Facebook is rejecting promotional ads for the new adult education course about antisemitism and Jewish identity offered by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI), the adult education arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, eJewishPhilanthropy reported.
The course titled “Outsmarting Antisemitism: How to Beat it with Purpose, Positivity and Jewish Pride” will be presented by Chabad Shluchim and Shluchos in over 500 Chabad centers around the world this November.
Using history, Talmudic sources, Jewish mysticism, contemporary expert analysis and captivating case studies, this course considers the sources of this ancient hatred, along with the appropriate strategies for overcoming it.
Despite taking an upbeat tone of the class (“find the confidence to fight hate with hope and to stand tall against antisemitism with positivity, purpose, and plenty of Jewish pride!”), the social media giant has labeled it an issue connected to politics and “sensitive social issues.”
JLI’s Marketing Director Rabbi Zalman Abraham said that about 50 Shluchim and Chabad centers tried purchasing and scheduling ads to reach out to their local community but they all were rejected by Facebook.
Rabbi Abraham told COLlive.com: “While we commend Facebook’s efforts to block hate speech across their platforms, it is frustrating that they have not yet figured out how to discern hate speech from its opposite and instead choose to shut down all conversations on the topic—including silencing the voices of our instructors who are working to educate the public in the struggle against the world’s oldest and longest-running hatred.”
Facebook has come under criticism for disseminating hate speech and promised to crack down on it, most recently last week at the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance in Malmö, Sweden. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company is “now removing 15 times more hate speech than we were just five years ago.”
The Anti-Defamation League, one of the organizations that called for an advertising boycott of Facebook and Instagram, told eJewishPhilanthropy that it’s aware of the problem of tech companies “overenforcing” their hate policies against benign content, although it hadn’t seen the ads Chabad has tried to run.
Facebook needs to address hate speech while not penalizing good actors, an ADL spokesperson said: “Given Facebook’s vast resources, employing the appropriate amount of human reviewers to make this possible should be within their reach.”
Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.
VIDEO: The trailer to the class Facebook didn’t appprove