’s Standards of Moderation and Filtration


matzav_networkBy Elisha Ferber

Following‘s recent announcement of the establishment of the global Matzav Network and even stricter levels of moderation on, we were inundated with emails from readers. Some asked for details about the new MatzavNet, MatzavFilter and MatzavPhone services, which will revolutionize communication and online access for the frum community. Details about those services will be made public next week when the programs are officially launched.

Many of the readers encouraged and supported our endeavor to further upgrade the standards of the site, while others asked what future policy and guidelines will be.

Regarding the latter concern, we have worked with our rabbonim and askanim to create a set guidelines to be followed strictly. Readers were specifically concerned about the content of Matzav‘s ever popular Featured Video section. We would like to share brief details of the guidelines we have put in place. Obviously, the very specific details are beyond the scope of this post, but we feel we owe it to our readers all over the globe to provide an understanding of some of the basic rules we will be following. These could obviously change based on the advice and suggestions of our guiding rabbonim with whom we continue to be in touch on a regular basis. It is because of our desire to create high standards that we’ve received the encouragement and support of gedolei Torah (see the letter published here yesterday).


It is first important to point out that just because something is funny, creative or entertaining does not make it problematic or objectionable from a hashkafa standpoint. As we mentioned yesterday, strict moderation does not preclude the sharing of opinions, nor does it mean that the news and entertainment cannot be creative and fun. What it means is that the content and presentation are hashkafically acceptable and appropriate. 

The goal of this site is to provide comprehensive world, community and Torah news, as well as divrei Torah, analysis of news and community happenings, opinion columns from readers and featured columnists, halacha discussions, entertaining kosher videos and more., boruch Hashem, caters to a very diverse range of frum Yidden across the globe and it has been recognized that Yidden need healthy and kosher sources of news and entertainment. That is what we are trying to accomplish.

The gedolim we have spoken to have been opposed to those who wish to prohibit everything. They have expressed the need for people to be able to have access to kosher news and entertainment, with appropriate internet filtering and safety of course.

MATZAV.COM POLICY policy is that if a photo, video, or news report is not completely within the parameters of what rabbonim have deemed acceptable for a frum home, or if it possesses anything that is hashkafically questionable, sends a wrong message, or instills in a person a temptation for something a frum Yid should not want, it will not appear on the site.

There are many cases where there is a fine line between what is acceptable and what is not, and we will therefore be consulting with our gedolim about these issues on a regular basis. Nothing will be taken for granted or assumed by our editors and writers.


To address the Featured Videos section for a moment, we have established guidelines which would set our policy as follows:

A clean, entertaining commercial, containing nothing objectionable, may be posted even though the actors or personalities are not Jewish. Similarly, old amusing classics, after being carefully screened by one of our editors, may be posted as well. Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First” routine is a good example of this.

We have been advised that in a case where a video (or article) contains a personality or figure who is a well-known personality in the non-Jewish world of entertainment and whose performances are known to contain objectionable material, then even if a particular clip of that individual is kosher, we will refrain from posting it and promoting the individual. The Featured Videos section will continue to feature entertaining clips of music, funny routines, as well as other amusing clips that have been approved by an editor of the site based on the established guidelines.


Regarding the approval of comments by readers, we have already employed strict moderation, but will be bringing it up a notch. Comments that are denigrating toward bnei Torah or any other specific group in Klal Yisroel, even if they are only suggestive, will continue to not be permitted. While our editors carefully screen each word in each comment, we encourage our readers to let us know if they see something that bothers them. Even if we feel that it conforms with our policy, we still would love to hear feedback, both positive and negative, from readers as we work to constantly raise and maintain the standards we have established. 

We will continue to allow the free expression of opinions, as long as it is done within the parameters we have set. We feel that the healthy discussion of important issues has a true toeless, and when done in the proper manner can bring about much needed change and advancements within our frum communities. Readers can continue to look for the insightful and intriguing analysis of issues affecting the Torah community that has become famous for. Comments from people who wish to castigate frum people and paint them in a negative light will not be approved, period.

As for past material on the site, our technicians are currently working on retroactively re-filtering the content of articles, comments and videos, so that they will be consistent with our upgraded standards., since its inception, has endeavored to raise the standard of Jewish online reporting, providing news in a Torahdike manner and publicizing the hashkafos and psakim of our gedolei rabbonim. We will continue to maintain our strict standards, following the guidance of experts in the chareidi media world and the advice of rabbonim, and we look forward to reading your critiques and suggestions as we move forward.

{Elisha Newscenter}


  1. Elisha,

    You use words like “gedolim” and “frum” often in your new policy guidelines. However, both of those words are loaded with nuances that mean different things to different groups.

    For example, there are those in our community who would castigate anyone who supports the State of Israel as not frum or even idol worshippers. Likewise, there are those on the Zionist side who would say that those who actively work against the State are not holding of authentic Torah ideals.

    Some would say that YU is treif gammur and should not be considered “frum.” Others would disagree and say the same about other groups.

    Similarly, the word “gedolim” means different things to different groups. Some groups may look up to one set of gedolim and barely acknowledge others.

    In short, I suppose my question is this: when you say that you won’t allow comments that denigrate “frum” Jews — who are the “frum” Jews that are in the “protected class?” Are the Modern Orthodox included? What about Neturei Karta? Chabad, including the messianists?

    Or are you basing the definition on the opinion of the gedolim that you consult with? If so, that’s fine, but then may we ask who those gedolim are, or, barring that, what their opinion is on who, exactly, is a “frum” Jew and who is not?

    I don’t want to start a fight, but I believe that if you’re going to set guidelines to “protect” certain groups or ideals (which is fine), we should know exactly what is included in that set of groups and ideals.

    Thanking you in advance and wishing you a k’siva v’chasima tovah,

    The Wolf

    Elisha Ferber responds:

    Denigating frum Jews means all frum Jews, no matter their affiliation. That has always been our policy.