Zoom declined to support virtual conferences with Leila Khaled at New York University and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa last week, organizers say. The events were part of a national day of action by the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. They featured recorded comments by Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the first woman to hijack a plane. The U.S., among other nations, considers the Popular Front a terrorist organization.
Last month, Zoom and several other digital platforms censored a talk by Khaled organized by faculty members at San Francisco State University. In response to this newest round of comments, Palestine Legal and 10 other groups sent a letter to Zoom calling its actions “a dangerous attack on free speech and academic freedom, and an abuse of your contract with public university systems. Your status as an essential public service does not give you veto power over the content of the nation’s classrooms and public events.”
A spokesperson for Zoom said the company is "committed to supporting the open exchange of ideas and conversations and does not have any policy preventing users from criticizing Zoom." Zoom doesn't monitor events and only takes action "if we receive reports about possible violations of our Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy and Community Standards." Previously, Zoom said that in light of Khaled’s “reported affiliation or membership in a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization,” it determined the San Francisco State meeting violated its terms of service.