Popular videoconferencing app Zoom is introducing a change to its policy on academic freedom for colleges. The move will greatly reduce its oversight into shutting down controversial zoom events, such as the recent cancelled virtual event featuring Palestinian Arab terrorist hijacker Leila Khaled at San Francisco State University, which was also stopped by Youtube and Facebook.
Khaled is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a US-designated terrorist group.
Zoom had removed the event form its platform for violating its terms of service.
The new changes mean that Zoom will be hands off in policing potentially offensive or hate-filled content.
The new policy states, “for Zoom meetings and webinars hosted by a higher education institution, the Trust and Safety team will only act on reports alleging content-related violations of our Community Standards or Terms of Service that come from the meeting’s host or the account’s owners or administrators.”
Exception will only include instances in which Zoom sees a legal or regulatory issue or “an immediate threat to the physical safety of any person; or the meeting or webinar is unrelated to the institution’s academics or operations.”
Zoom has made the decision not long after pressure from the American Association of University Professors, who launched a campaign after Khaled’s September 2020 San Francisco State University talk was cancelled by zoom, accusing the service of “censorship.”
Essentially, Zoom will now be handing content moderation to universities and colleges, who will be free to host events featuring guests of their choice.
With the ongoing issue of the increasing anti-Semitism at universities and on university campuses, Jewish groups are concerned that the new policy goes in the wrong direction in terms of combating anti-Semitism and Jew hatred.