The Labour Party has asked Facebook to ban left-wing antisemitic groups on its platform that support the Party.
It is understood that staff at the Party’s governance and legal unit contacted the social media giant last year to ask that eleven groups be moderated or removed because they contained antisemitic material.
The material is believed to include conspiracy theories about Jews, Holocaust denial and explicit expressions of anti-Jewish hatred.
In a meeting last October, Party staff handed over four reports containing hundreds of pieces of evidence to Facebook, and one of the groups, “Truthers Against Zionist Lobbies”, was shut down in December after an intervention by the celebrity antisemitism campaigner Rachel Riley. In a February meeting, the staff reiterated their request to Facebook and provided supplementary evidence.
The administrators are not believed to be current Labour members, although some may have been suspended or expelled by the Party.
In a statement, Facebook said that its standards “make very clear that there is absolutely no place for hate speech” on its platform.
The revelation comes as it also emerged that the largest Facebook group supporting the Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey is reportedly replete with antisemitic material.
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.