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May 7, 2018 5:16 pm

ADL Report on Twitter Antisemitism Reveals Surge of Hatred

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Illustration. Photo: Kacper Pempel / Reuters.

Harvey Weinstein as the archetypal “Jewish” sexual predator, use of the term “Zionist” as a code for the word “Jew,” and a continuing obsession with the financial power of the Rothschild dynasty were among the recurrent antisemitic themes on Twitter during 2017, a new report by the Anti-Defamation League revealed on Monday.

Research by the ADL’s Center on Extremism found that at least 4.2 million antisemitic tweets were shared or re-shared in English on Twitter over the 12-month period ending January 28, 2018. Those 4.2 million tweets were sent from an estimated three million Twitter handles.

“This new data shows that even with the steps Twitter has taken to remove hate speech and to deal with those accounts disseminating it, users are still spreading a shocking amount of antisemitism and using Twitter as a megaphone to harass and intimidate Jews,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.

The report argues that subject matter experts are crucial to accurately defining antisemitism and gauging user sentiment. “Algorithms and artificial intelligence will be key to identifying hate online, but human experts are needed to define the problem and, at least in the initial stages, to help the systems assess sentiment and eliminate false positives,” Greenblatt said.

Greenblatt added that he hoped “this report will create a renewed sense of urgency among all social media providers that this problem is not going away and that they need to find innovative new ways to tamp down the spread of hatred online.”

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