ADL Takes Proactive Steps to Combat Rise of Anti-Semitic Speech on Social Media

The Anti-Defamation League has created a new role which will be entirely devoted to investigating and curbing Anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric over social media websites has prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to beef up their measures to prevent hate speech on the net. Following numerous incidents where Jewish and other minority-group journalists have been receiving threats and insults online, the ADL has decided to take matters more seriously to put an end to the issue. To combat hate forces over the net, the ADL has decided to create a new position in the organization to deal specially with anti-Semitism.

The ADL has invited lawyer Brittan Heller to be the first person to fill this new role. As the group's first director of technology and society, Heller will be playing an offensive against elements on the net that promote anti-Semitic speech. As a lawyer who has played a key role in the prosecution of cybercrime in institutions such as the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Criminal Court in the Hague, she herself had once been the victim of cyberharassment.

The CEO of ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt has affirmed that Brittan Hellar will be taking a tough stand against the spread of anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry. He observes that as of late, a lot of attempts have been made over the net through use of technology and social media to push minority communities, especially the Jews, towards a more marginalized existence. So far, no concrete, well-defined action has been taken so far to proactively fight forces that spread hatred. As such, by creating a position to specifically address the issue, the ADL is taking the fight from a defensive stance to an offensive one.

As an expert on cyber-hate crime, Greenblatt has revealed that Brittan Heller is the most suitable choice to fill the role. He observes that anti-Semitic sentiments saw a sharp rise with the elections coming close. He added that anti-Semitic intolerance has always been there throughout history. He argues that the distribution of pamphlets and posters carrying anti-Semitic messages in the past is now recast as hate messages posted on public platforms. He said that while the ADL has been working actively with social networking sites to combat hate speech, he sees a need to double up the efforts, especially because defining hate speech is very difficult. 

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter