New York, NY, June 1, 2016 … In the wake of a series of disturbing incidents where journalists covering the 2016 presidential campaign have been targeted with anti-Semitic harassment and even death threats on social media, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced today it is convening a Task Force on Hate Speech and Journalism. Building on ADL’s decades of experience in monitoring and exposing hate and hate groups, as well as its central role in working with the Internet industry to address online hate, the Task Force will seek insights from a group of outside experts and representatives of journalism, law enforcement, academia, Silicon Valley, and nongovernmental organizations whose advice and counsel will help ADL to do the following:
“Journalists are used to being criticized, but this election cycle we repeatedly have seen criticism quickly cross the line into ugly anti-Semitic and other hateful attacks including death threats,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “ADL has been monitoring, studying, and speaking out against anti-Semitism, racism, and other hate for years. We hope to bring our experience to this latest manifestation of it so we can take steps to address this challenge even as we strive to ensure that we do not jeopardize free speech and a free press.”
The Task Force will build on and complement work done by ADL’s Center on Extremism, which has worked closely with social media and internet providers for more than two decades in responding to anti-Semitism and online hatred.
The Task Force work quickly and expects to issue a report by the end of the summer. To date, advisors on the Task Force include:
In recent weeks, ADL has heard from a number of journalists from across the ideological spectrum who have experienced anti-Semitic and other harassment. Among those journalists who have reported receiving harassing and hate-filled anti-Semitic messages on social media during the 2016 campaign season are CNN’s Jake Tapper, Julia Ioffe, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, and Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times.
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.