ADL, New America Provide First Real-Time Look at How Extremists Target Minority Groups on Twitter

Part of ongoing efforts to understand the spread of hate across social media

Washington, D.C., October 15, 2018 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and New America today unveiled a new interactive dashboard that provides the first real-time visualization of extremist content on Twitter targeting Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and other minority groups. The tool is part of a joint initiative to increase the understanding of how extremists are using social media and adapting their tactics in response to major events, such as elections or terrorism.

The “Exploring Online Hate” dashboard tracks more than 1,000 of the most active extremist accounts on Twitter, analyzes their content, and shows the impact of their activity. The dashboard makes it possible for a range of stakeholders – tech companies, the media, researchers, policymakers, elected officials, advocacy groups, and the general public – to discuss hateful activity online with a shared set of facts. And it allows tech companies and experts like ADL and New America to find new ways to counter hate.   

“We’re thrilled to be working on this groundbreaking project with the Anti-Defamation League. As we have seen over the past several years, hate against Muslims and other minorities has been no small issue. Hate and fear can be used by extremists to create flashpoints, divide us, and even affect elections,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America. “This project sheds light on how and where extremists operate, and it’s our hope to use this project to generate fresh ideas and drive a broader public conversation about confronting and addressing the scourge of hate online,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter.

“Extremists have manipulated social media to move from the margins of society into the mainstream, and we can’t allow them to abuse online platforms and threaten people,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “ADL has documented a shocking amount of anti-Semitism on Twitter and extremists’ use of it to harass and intimidate Jews, journalists and others. This is a societal problem we are working to address proactively through our Center for Technology and Society, and we thank New America for partnering with us on this important initiative to monitor attacks against minorities on Twitter.” 

In addition to the dashboard, ADL and New America will publish quarterly reports that analyze extremist activity on Twitter and how it has changed over time, and convene other experts to discuss issues identified by the project.  

About ADL

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

ADL has been examining cyber hate since extremists began using online bulletin boards to spread their message in the 1980s, and it has worked with tech companies over the past decade to stem abuses on social media and other types of apps. ADL last year opened its Center for Technology and Society (adl.org/CTS) in Silicon Valley to expand on this work, improve the understanding of online hate, prevent the spread of hate to emerging media like augmented reality and virtual reality, and also bring solutions to prevent hate through video games and other technologies. 

For more, visit us at adl.org and on Twitter @ADL_National.  

About New America

New America is pioneering a new kind of think and action tank: a civic platform that connects a research institute, technology lab, solutions network, media hub and public forum. We generate big, bold ideas as templates for change. We design and advance evidence-based public policies. We surface, share, and scale locally generated and tested solutions to public problems through a national and global network of public, private, and civic partners. We develop legal, political and technological tools to build democratic capacity and enable solutions to grow and spread. We tell stories about what is happening and what is possible, to give Americans a window into what we are capable of achieving together and a vision of what a renewed America could and should be.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.