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January 26, 2018 10:24 am

‘Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant:’ Israel Launches System to Expose Antisemitism Online

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Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett presenting data from the new Anti-Semitism Cyber Monitoring System. Photo: Alex Traiman.

JNS.org – Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett on Thursday unveiled a new tool developed by the Israeli government during the past year that is capable of providing real-time data and analysis on online antisemitism.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant. From today every antisemite online should know he is exposed, the hatred he spreads is being watched and he will be held responsible,” Bennett said.

“It’s time to set a mirror in front of our enemies and expose the ugly face of the modern antisemite, he who tweets swastikas instead of branding them in the street. From now we will know who the leading antisemites are and they will be dealt with,” he added.

The system, called Antisemitism Cyber Monitoring System (ACMS), which was developed with the Israeli Ministry of Defense, provides real-time interactive maps showing antisemitic activity. It can dissect and display the information based on multiple factors, including geography, language, date and more.

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Based on artificial intelligence, the program can recognize keywords and patterns, while also analyzing the contextual text in which they were written. ACMS uses the working definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and monitors posts in the English, French, German and Arabic languages.

During a one-month pilot of the program, 409,000 antisemitic posts and tweets, written by some 30,000 people, were monitored and analyzed. The system found that the three cities spreading the most anti-Semitism were Santiago (Chile), Denipro (Ukraine) and Bucharest (Romania), while Paris and London were identified as the most antisemitic cities in Western Europe. The system found an uptick in online antisemitism following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Dec. 6.

“Antisemitism hasn’t vanished, it has shifted shape and moved from the street to the web. Especially during the week we commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we must turn the spotlight to the places from which antisemitism stems and spreads, as part of the mutual responsibility Jews have for one another,” Bennett said.

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