European Jewish Congress
Dr Moshe Kantor: Tech Giants
EJC in the Media
Dr Moshe Kantor: Tech Giants "Shamefully Slow" to React to Antisemitism

Companies like Google have been shamefully slow to react to blatant anti-Semitic and extremist content hosted on their sites.

A recent EU-funded survey found that only 40 per cent of all notifications of alleged illegal online hate speech are currently reviewed within 24 hours, the period of time set out in the European Commission’s Code of Conduct, which was voluntarily adopted by these leading web-based companies. This is unacceptable.

There is clearly a disparity in the way that web-based and traditional media are allowed to function. Governments are having to move fast to adapt to the changing patterns of hate crime and look at ways of putting pressure on platforms to effectively and speedily remove offensive material. Technology companies must recognise their responsibilities to society and take action.

Do you believe that multinational technology companies are sufficiently equipped to self-police the content put out on their platforms?

As the most powerful and successful technology innovators in the world, it is difficult to accept that these companies are unable to do more, and in a faster framework, to address the presence of anti-Semitic, illegal and hate-filled content on their own sites.

I would further call on them to refine their definition of appropriate and inappropriate content. Google’s advertising policy states they don’t allow the promotion of hatred, violence, religious or political intolerance, or organisations with such views in its ad network. However, they are still failing to remove anti-Semitic and extremist content, so clearly they have work to do to address this serious matter.

Has the web been the single biggest driving factor behind a rise in antisemitic, Islamophobic, homophobic and other hate speech proliferating in recent years?

I think the proliferation of social media has certainly made hate speech more prominent, but I do not think it is the root cause. It has though provided a platform for anti-Semites and extremists to promote their hatred.

What is clear is that existing legislation is ill-equipped to address the worrying and growing issue of online hate and incitement to violence. The web has traditionally fought hard for the protection of the right to freedom of expression, with many arguing that tackling online hate speech contravenes this essential freedom. But there is clearly a point where freedom of speech ends and incitement to violence begins. We must act to hold these web-based companies to account in policing and eliminating offensive material from their sites.

Have states done enough to stamp a legislative mark on online content? If not, what more could be done to ensure that online hate speech is denuded as much as possible?

Governments across Europe are taking this issue very seriously, and rightly so. The rapid escalation of hate speech on line, and the religiously-motivated violence we are seeing across Europe, means that our leaders have an important and critical job to do to help remove this evil from our society.

How fundamental do you believe the EU, the Digital Single Market and other multinational blocs are in tackling online hate speech?

In May 2016, the European Commission presented Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with a Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online, which called on the companies to have clear and effective processes in place to review notifications of hate speech so they could aim to remove the majority of illegal hate speech within 24 hours. It further called on the companies to promote transparency in their commitment to the Code of Conduct, which all three companies voluntarily adopted.

The recent media and advertiser-led investigations have clearly exposed the failing of the technology companies to police the content on their sites and follow the European code of conduct to which they agreed. We now look to these companies to review the ways in which they are able to self-police their platforms and immediately address this critical issue.

 Click here to read the full article in Red Herring

 

Friday, April 14, 2017
More News
European Jewish Congress: Tenev's Nazi salute should serve as a caution against working with ultra-nationalist parties
European Jewish Congress: Tenev's Nazi salute should serve as a caution against working with ultra-nationalist parties
The episode in which a now-former Bulgarian deputy minister was pictured giving a Nazi salute should serve as a caution for European governments and mainstream political parties against working with ultra-nationalist parties, European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor said.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • China's tech money heads for Israel as US economy wanes
    Struggling to seal deals in the United States as regulatory scrutiny tightens, Chinese companies looking to invest in promising technology are finding a warmer welcome for their cash in Israel.

    On Friday, May 19, 2017 China's tech money heads for Israel as US economy wanes
  • Pre-Six Day War Israel gets its own Twitter account
    Most years just come and go, but 1967 has made a remarkable comeback on social media, thanks to Israeli Foreign Ministry efforts to mark the 50th year since the reunification of Jerusalem.

    On Friday, May 19, 2017 Pre-Six Day War Israel gets its own Twitter account
  • First female judge appointed to Sharia court
    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked installed the first ever female judge, or qadi, for Israel’s Sharia court system on Monday in Jerusalem, along with three other regional qadis.

    On Friday, May 19, 2017 First female judge appointed to Sharia court
  • April set all-time record for tourism in Israel
    More tourists visited Israel last month than in any other month since the establishment of the state, the Tourism Ministry said on Tuesday.

    On Thursday, May 11, 2017 April set all-time record for tourism in Israel
  • Galillee Jewish-Arab tech colaboration shoots for the moon
    When Asaf Brimer left the Israeli air force in 2008 after serving for 27 years as a fighter pilot and taking part in four of the nation’s wars, he spent six years in the military industry but then decided it wasn’t for him.

    On Thursday, May 11, 2017 Galillee Jewish-Arab tech colaboration shoots for the moon
  • On Israel's 69th birthday population reaches 8.68 million
    As Israel prepares to celebrate its 69th birthday, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced on Thursday that the Jewish state today has 8.68 million citizens, ten times more than at its founding in 1948.

    On Friday, April 28, 2017 On Israel's 69th birthday population reaches 8.68 million
  • Israel pauses to remember Holocaust victims
    Israel came to a standstill as people stopped in their tracks for a two-minute siren that wailed across the country in remembrance of the Holocaust’s 6 million Jewish victims.

    On Friday, April 28, 2017 Israel pauses to remember Holocaust victims
  • European Judo Championships to be held in Israel
    The European Judo Union has confirmed that Israel will host the European Championships next year.

    On Friday, April 28, 2017 European Judo Championships to be held in Israel
  • Tel Aviv to house world's first construction tech hub
    With hopes of revitalising an industry that has been slow to modernise, a team of Israeli government and business partners launched the world’s first “Construction Innovation Zone” on Thursday morning.

    On Friday, April 28, 2017 Tel Aviv to house world's first construction tech hub
  • Israel treating thousands of Syrians injured in war
    Seven wounded Syrians — two children, four women and a man — waited in pain for darkness to fall to cross into enemy territory.

    On Friday, April 14, 2017 Israel treating thousands of Syrians injured in war
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism