Dr Mike Evans

More than 10,000 posts removed in antisemitic cyber incidents in April

Israel’s cyber state prosecution announced it helped obtain the removal of more than 10,000 antisemitic posts in April.

“The state announced that over the last month there has been a systematic campaign to encourage terror on social media through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok, Twitter and Telegram,” the Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

“On Facebook, around 7,700 posts were checked, of which approximately 5,500 were found to be problematic from an incitement perspective,” the report added.

The efforts are part of a growing emphasis in Israel to crack down on social media efforts to incite violence toward the Jewish people, especially as the nation has experienced increased terror incidents in recent weeks.

The crackdown also follows similar antisemitic cyberattacks during the same period in 2021 during the Gaza war that sought to incite violence and garner support for the thousands of rockets Hamas fired at civilian targets within Israel.

In 2021, the Jerusalem Prayer Team Facebook page, the largest pro-Israel page on the platform, was targeted with more than two million antisemitic messages over a three-day period. The attacks led to a shutdown of the page, along with several copycat pages created to disparage the organization.

The acts were among several pro-Israel social media accounts target d during May 2021, with social media providers soon moving to enact new policies to deal with such incidents.

In October, both Facebook and YouTube pledged to reduce online hate speech during a Holocaust remembrance conference in Sweden. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the social media giant is “now removing 15 times more hate speech than we were just five years ago. And we are not going to stop,” according to the Associated Press.

While much work remains for improvement, Israel’s April statistics show progress is being made to oppose antisemitic hate on social media as the platforms increasingly serve as the top source many use for their news and other information.