International Forum Urges Social Media Services to Take Action Against Anti-Semitism

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The social media giant on Wednesday (13/10) was urged to act to curb the emerging anti -Semitism movement online. The call was sparked at an international conference in Sweden that focused on the increasing number of hate speech being published on multiple platforms.

The Swedish government invited social media giants TikTok, Google and Facebook along with representatives from 40 countries, the United Nations and Jewish organizations to an event designed to tackle the rising global scourge of antisemitism.

Sweden hosted the event in the city of Malmo, which was a hotbed of anti-Jewish sentiment in the early 2000s but during World War II, the region was known for its hospitality by welcoming Danish Jews who had fled Nazi persecution and prisoners rescued from concentration camps in 1945.

Google said at the event, officially called the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Anti-Semitism, that it was allocating 5 million euros ($5.78 million) to combat antisemitism globally. online.

“We want to stop online hate speech and ensure we have a safe digital environment for our citizens,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in a pre-recorded statement.

Organizations in Europe accuse technology companies of “absolutely failing to address this issue,” and say antisemitism is now being repackaged and disseminated to young people via platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.

Antisemitism is “running rampant on every social media platform,” according to a study linked to the conference, conducted by three non-governmental organizations.

On Instagram, where nearly 70 percent of users are between the ages of 13 and 34, millions of utterances for hashtags related to antisemitism have been found, according to the study.

French President Emmanuel Macron was present to give a speech at the Malmo International Forum in Sweden on October 13, 2021. The forum discussed the anti-Semitism movement that is increasingly prevalent in Europe. (Photo: TT News agency via Reuters/Jonas Ekstromer)

As for the TikTok platform, where 69 percent of its users are aged 16 to 24, the report said three hashtags related to anti-Semitism were viewed more than 25 million times in six months.

In response to the report, a Facebook spokesperson said antisemitism was “totally unacceptable” and that its policies on hate speech and denial of the Holocaust had been tightened.

A TikTok spokesperson said the platform “condemns antisemitism” and will “continue to strengthen our means to combat antisemitic content.”

According to the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, 9 out of 10 Jews in the European Union say antisemitism has increased in their country and 38 percent of citizens have considered emigrating because they no longer feel safe. (lt/ka)

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