90% of antisemitic social media posts remain on Facebook and Twitter even after being reported, a new study has revealed.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) conducted the study of 714 antisemitic posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Its research found that 84% of antisemitic posts remained, with 90% remaining on Facebook and Twitter specifically.
Imran Ahmed, the Chief Executive of CCDH, said that the study showed that social media was a “safe space for racists to normalise their conspiracies and hateful rhetoric without fear of consequences.”
He added: “This is not about algorithms or automation; our research shows that social media companies allow bigots to keep their accounts open and their hate to remain online, even when human moderators are notified.”
The findings from the CCDH noted that in particular, the social media giants’ response to tackling racist conspiracy theories was particularly disappointing. They ignored 89% of antisemitic conspiracy theories and addressed only 5% that blamed Jewish people for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only one in 20 posts that attacked Jewish people directly were removed. In situations where a post had clear links to violence or neo-Nazism, 30% of posts were removed.
A spokesman for Facebook, which also owns Instagram, said: “These reports do not account for the fact that we have taken action on fifteen times the amount of hate speech since 2017, the prevalence of hate speech is decreasing on our platform and, of the hate speech we remove, 97 percent was found before someone reported it.”
A Twitter spokesman said: “We strongly condemn antisemitism. We’re working to make Twitter a safer place, and improving the speed and scale of our rule enforcement is a top priority. We recognise that there’s more to do.”
It was reported that TikTok said in a statement that “it condemns antisemitism and proactively removes accounts and content that violate its policies,” while it was said that YouTube “made significant progress” in removing hate speech over the past few years.
Recently, we published a report which revealed that Twitter invited Campaign Against Antisemitism to become a “Twitter partner”, allowing us to report problematic material directly through the company’s “partner portal” to Twitter personnel (rather than machines) for review, only for the platform to cease contact with us after we had flagged up hundreds of antisemitic tweets. Following the news of this report, Twitter has reportedly declined to respond.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms. We also continue to make representations to the Government on this matter.