Top UK Jewish Group Praises Gov for Urging Social Media Companies to Adopt Leading Antisemitism Definition
One of the UK’s top Jewish organizations praised the British government on Tuesday after it urged the world’s biggest social media companies to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism as a means of fighting hate speech.
The IHRA definition has already been adopted by numerous governments and institutions around the world, including the US State Department.
Oliver Dowden, the UK’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, sent an open letter to Facebook, Google, Snap, Tiktok, and Twitter asking them to adopt the definition.
Dowden called it an “invaluable tool for organizations to understand how antisemitism manifests itself in the 21st century and to tackle it.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which had advocated such a move by the government, expressed strong support for Dowden’s letter.
The Board’s president, Marie van der Zyl, said, “The Board of Deputies has been clear in all its meetings with social media companies that if they truly want to combat antisemitism on their platforms, they need to adopt the full IHRA definition of antisemitism as part of their community standards and use it when considering antisemitism complaints.”
Referring to Britain’s telecommunications regulator the Office of Communications (Ofcom), van der Zyl expressed hope that it would also adopt the definition when, as expected, social media regulation comes under its purview.
She said the Board thanks Dowden for his letter “and hope that in the coming period he will also write to Ofcom and ask them to use IHRA in their assessments of online antisemitism when they become the new regulator for social media.”
“We are determined to ensure that Jewish social media users are free to enjoy the online space without fear of being targeted by hate,” she added.