Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok largely fail in the fight against hatred and agitation against Jews. The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) raises this allegation. According to its study “Protection Failure”, the five operators did nothing on an average of 84 percent of the posts reported to them with anti-Semitic conspiracies, extremism and insults.
This contradicts their claims to crack down on anti-Jewish hatred. Researchers at the nonprofit organization with offices in London and Washington have according to the study in May and June 724 anti-Semitic posts on the platforms were reported to the corporations via the respective procedure. These postings are said to have reached a total of 7.3 million views. According to the respective house rules of the online communities, the content should have been deleted.
Facebook bottom, YouTube not much better
According to the study, Facebook removed only 14 out of 129 reported posts (10.9%). Twitter deleted 15 of 137 posts (11%). TikTok took 22 of 119 posts down (18.5%), Instagram 52 of 277 (18.8%). YouTube withdrew 11 of the 52 complained videos and achieved the highest deletion rate of 21.2 percent.
According to the analysis, the operators usually did not react even to particularly extremist anti-Semitic statements. An average of 80 percent of these postings denying the Holocaust remained online. If Jews were accused of ritual murders, 74 percent of the contributions remained. Furthermore, 70 percent of the reported racist caricatures of Jewish people and just as many of the “neo-Nazi postings” are available.
Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), the coronavirus pandemic and Jewish world domination were even 89 percent untouched. The CCDH had already found out in March that at times only a dozen users were responsible for the dissemination of thousands of anti-vaccination posts on Facebook and Twitter.
#Hashtags help agitators
Instagram, TikTok and Twitter also allowed anti-Semitic hashtags such as #rothschild, #fakejews and #killthejews, according to the report. Such keywords received more than 3.3 million hits during the study period. TikTok also blocked only five percent of the reported accounts via which members had sent gruesome direct messages to Jewish users, for example with the Auschwitz lie.
It is surprising that Facebook in particular is doing the worst at its core. Group boss Mark Zuckerberg, who is Jewish himself, announced in October after much deliberation that he no longer wanted to offer Holocaust deniers a platform on the network. He referred to data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence. Previously, Facebook had already banned anti-Semitic stereotypes that attribute collective power to Jews and portray them as world rulers.
Facebook: Automatic censorship is missing in statistics
One has and will continue to take significant measures to remove anti-Semitic posts “and at the same time educate people with relevant information about them,” said a Facebook spokesman towards the online magazine “Axios”. The study does not take into account “that we have acted against 15 times more hateful posts since 2017” and the problem on the platform is decreasing. 97 percent of the removed hate content would be automatically found and deleted before a human could perceive and report it.
YouTube referred to its extensive policy on dealing with hate and hate speech, on the basis of which 85,000 videos were deleted in the first quarter of 2021. Twitter claims that it takes the enforcement of the community rules very seriously, but admits there is room for improvement.
The CCDH calls for legislative action. The network operators would have to face financial sanctions if they do not improve the moderation of the content. The operators currently benefit from spreading hatred and disinformation. Anti-Semitic groups in particular must be removed quickly and relevant hashtags prevented.