A new report shows that major social media platforms have failed to remove more than 80% of anti-Semitic content from their platforms.
According to the Center for Countering Digital Hatred, it had reported 700 posts containing anti-Jewish hate. These posts were viewed 7.3 million times.
This research included Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitter.
CCDH stated that Facebook had the worst performance, failing to respond to 89% of posts.
CCDH’s report, “Failure to Act,” accused several tech giants of being “safe spaces to spread racism against Jews.”
One in six
Its researchers used the reporting tools provided by each platform to collect 714 posts between May & June. These examples were “clearly in violation” of the policies of the social media companies.
They included Holocaust denial and conspiracy theories involving false claims that Jews “control” governments and banks or orchestrating world events.
They were reported via “ordinary user accounts” rather than by identifying themselves as involved in the CCDH.
It stated that “We found that platforms acted on less than one out of six reported instances of antisemitism.”
Each social network had its own sample size for the 714 total posts it tracked.
Facebook responded to 14 of the 129 posts it received (10.9%).
Twitter removed 15 out of 137 (11%)
TikTok removed 22 out of 119 (18.5%).
Instagram took 52 actions on 277 (18.8%).
YouTube removed 11 of 52 (21.2%)
The CCDH reported that 84% of the posts had not been acted on, an average figure of 84%.
Tags and groups
The researchers also “tagged” all the posts it collected with certain categories. It stated that Holocaust denial posts remained online 80% of the time while neo-Nazi content was only 71%.
CCDH also criticized some companies for allowing anti-Semitic content discussion forums to exist, despite the fact that individual posts were not dealt with.
Facebook said it was still active in many Facebook groups that it had sourced sample posts from, including “Exposing Zionism” and “Exposing The New World Order”.
It criticizes the use of hashtags like #fakejews and #rothschild on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter. These hashtags are often used to spread antisemitic content.
It also called out TikTok specifically for banning only 5 percent of accounts that send abuse directly to Jewish users via comments on videos. Usually, they opt to delete individual comments.
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Imran Ahmed, CCDH chief, stated that manually tracking and reporting examples “sidesteps discussions about algorithms and claims made by companies about automated hatred removal that they have not independently verified.”
“Instead, however, we measured how effective the platforms were at opposing antisemitism through assessing their response to user reports of anti-Jewish hate.”
He urged tech companies to ban anti-Semitic hashtags and to eliminate groups discussing them. He also called for legislation that would make social media companies as liable “in a similar way to any other person.”
“Work is never finished”
Social media companies largely defend their records and point to progress on the issue.
YouTube spokeswoman said it had “established an effective hate speech policy and made significant improvements in our ability to remove hateful content quickly” in recent years. YouTube claimed that it had removed 85,000 videos within the first three months.
They stated that the work was ongoing and they appreciate any feedback from CCDH.
Twitter, however, stated that it “strongly condemns antisemitism”.
“Improving the speed of our rule enforcement is a priority for us.” We know there is more to be done, so we will continue to listen to and incorporate feedback from stakeholders in our ongoing efforts.
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TikTok stated that it “condemns antisemitism” and “does not tolerate hate speech”.
We actively combat hate by taking down accounts and content that are in violation of our policies and redirecting search results for hateful ideologies to our community guidelines.
“We are determined to improve how we protect our community.”
Facebook stated that “our work is never finished”.
It stated that the reports did not reflect the fact that 15 times as much hate speech has been removed since 2017. The prevalence of hate speech is declining on our platform, and 97% of hate speech was discovered before anyone reported it to us.