ExtremismSocial Media Platforms Do Little to Limit Online Anti-Semitic Content

Published 3 August 2021

A new report shows how social media companies fail to act on anti-Jewish hate on their platforms. As a result of their failure to enforce their own rules, social media platforms like Facebook have become safe places to spread racism and propaganda against Jews.

A new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH)found that social media platforms took no action on 84 percent of posts containing anti-Semitic conspiracies, extremism, and abuse reported to them using their own tools for reporting malignant content, despite promises to crack down on anti-Jewish hatred.

The report’s authors note that their research concludes that the platforms are failing to remove hateful and anti-Semitic content even after it is specifically reported and flagged. The report’s methodology sidesteps debates about algorithms and claims by the companies about automated hate removal that they refuse to have independently verified. Instead, the report measured the effectiveness of the platforms’ opposition to anti-Semitism by assessing what they do with user reports of anti-Jewish hatred.

The Report’s Key Findings

·  CCDH researchers collected and reported 714 posts containing anti-Jewish hatred. Collectively, they had been viewed at least 7.3 million times. Posts were collected from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter & YouTube between May-June.

·  84% of posts containing anti-Jewish hatred were not acted upon by social media companies. Facebook performed worst, failing to act on 89%, despite announcing new rules to tackle the problem.

·  Platforms fail to act on 89% of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about 9/11, the Covid pandemic and Jewish control of world affairs.

·  Extremist anti-Jewish hate is not acted on: platforms failed to act on 80% of posts containing Holocaust denial, 74% of posts alleging the blood libel, 70% of racist caricatures of Jewish people and 70% of neo-Nazi posts.

·  Instagram, TikTok and Twitter allow hashtags used for anti-Semitic content such as #rothschild, #fakejews and #killthejews that were used in posts identified by our report that gained over 3.3 million impressions.

·  TikTok removes just 5% of accounts that directly racially abuse Jewish users, for example by sending them messages denying the Holocaust.

·  Earlier reports by CCDH show platforms have similarly failed to act on dangerous Covid and vaccine misinformation reported by users.

1. Introduce financial penalties to incentivize proper moderation. Platforms have profited from the proliferation of hate and misinformation on their platforms. Financial incentives will ensure they no longer invest the bare minimum in content moderation.

2. Hire, train and support moderators to remove hate. Current efforts by tech companies to moderate their platforms are clearly inadequate.

3. Remove groups dedicated to anti-Semitism. CCDH identified groups dedicated to sharing antisemitism with a total of 38,000 members.

4. Instagram, Tiktok and Twitter must act on antisemitic hashtags that their own analytics show have been used for content viewed millions of times.

5. Ban accounts that send racist abuse directly to Jewish users.