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Press Release

ADL Welcomes Issuance of Internet Hate Task Force Report and Recommendations

Jerusalem, May 29, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the issuance of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition Combating Anti-Semitism (ICCA) Internet Hate Task Force Report and Recommendations (PDF) earlier today in Jerusalem.

The report -- the culmination of testimony and meetings with industry experts, academics and non-governmental organizations -- offers a series of recommendations for responding to cyber-hate, including the creation of clear policies on hate speech and better enforcement of hate speech policies.

The task force was chaired by Yuli Edelstein, the Israeli Knesset speaker, and Christopher Wolf, ADL Civil Rights Chair. Mr. Wolf is the co-author, with Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, of the forthcoming Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet (Palgrave Macmillan), which will available in bookstores on June 4.

ADL issued the following statement from the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, where the task force recommendations were released:

The Internet, with all of its great benefits to society, has also become a superhighway for hate. Anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, cyberbullying, and other forms of hatred have proliferated online. The ICCA recommendations represent the beginning of a dialogue with industry that puts mechanisms in place to respond to Internet hate while balancing individual rights and freedoms.

We welcome the task force’s conclusion that the most meaningful way to address this issue is to work directly with intermediaries to encourage a transparent and inclusive approach.

Hate speech is more than just a belief or perspective -- it reinforces stereotypes and strengthens the belief that singling out “the other” for abuse is acceptable. Nobody is immune from being targeted online. Hate speech can harden low self-esteem and intimidate its targets, sometimes setting the stage for violence. But that doesn’t mean that we should give up. There is a role for Internet users, for Internet companies, and for educators. We look forward to initiating an inter-disciplinary approach to implementing the task force’s recommendations.

The task force provided the following key recommendations for responding to cyber-hate:

  • Create clear policies on hate speech and include them within the terms of service;
  • Create mechanisms for enforcing hate speech policies;
  • Establish a clear, user-friendly process for allowing users to report hate speech;
  • Increase transparency about terms of service;
  • Actively encourage counter-speech and education to address hate speech.

The Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (ICCA) is an organization comprised of parliamentarians from around the world working to combat resurgent global anti-Semitism.

ADL will continue to convene the Anti-Cyberhate Working Group, which brings together industry experts, academics and impacted communities to develop best practices for understanding, reporting upon and responding to Internet hate.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.