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Antisemitism Rarely Dealt With by Social Media Platforms, New Report Finds

(Illustrative photo)

August 2, 2021

The vast majority of antisemitic posts across five of the world’s largest social media platforms remain online even after being reported, according to a new report published on Sunday.

In their study, researchers from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) identified 714 antisemitic posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, which they then reported to each site.

Six weeks after reporting the posts, 84% were still online, having accrued 7.3 million views.

Some of the posts flagged by the researchers included neo-Nazi and white supremacist content, with many alluding to conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family, 9/11 attacks, and Covid-19 pandemic.

Shockingly, even posts containing blatantly racist caricatures of Jewish people and outright Holocaust denial were dealt with only 30% and 20% of the time respectively.

Facebook was particularly poor in taking down antisemitic posts, with 89% of the total reported content going unsanctioned. This is despite the company adopting tougher guidelines on hate speech in November last year.

Meanwhile, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok were found to have widely allowed posts including antisemitic hashtags such as #killthejews, #fakejews, and #rothchilds to remain online, with these gaining a combined 3.3 million impressions.

In particular, TikTok only suspended 5% of accounts responsible for reported content.

In official responses to the findings, four of the five social media giants insisted that they were doing everything they could to constantly improve their hate speech policies. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, failed to comment.

The damning report comes amid a dramatic surge in antisemitism around the world, much of it online, following the Israel-Gaza flare-up in May.

Many countries have seen record levels of anti-Jewish hate crimes, including the UK and US where the CCDH is based.