ADL Statement on Anti-Semitism on Facebook

New York, NY, September 18, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement in response to a protest being organized by a group called “Remove Hate from FB” against social media provider Facebook, Inc. scheduled to take place in October outside of Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California:

The spread of anti-Semitism and hate on the Internet and through social media is of great concern. 

The Anti-Defamation League has been on the frontline of this issue for many years, monitoring sites, writing about and documenting the problem, raising awareness, speaking out, and working closely with our anti-hate coalition partners in the United States abroad to find practical ways to fight back.  As part of this effort ADL recently created the Cyber-Safety Action Guide, an online resource that makes it easier for any Internet user to report hate speech to ADL and social media sites. We have also forged relationships with industry leaders such as Facebook, Google and Twitter in an effort to encourage them to do a better job at addressing hate speech on their servers.

ADL is routinely in contact with the leadership at Facebook to raise concern about anti-Semitic and other problematic content published to their pages.  While we don’t always see eye-to-eye on what constitutes inappropriate speech, Facebook has been a willing partner in responding to problematic material that we have brought to their attention.  But we also believe that Facebook, like myriad other social media providers, could do a better job at living up to their Terms of Service and to the public trust to ensure that their online communities are hate-free zones.

We believe that dialogue with the industry is most effective way to address the issue.  However, ADL always reserves the right to criticize those industry players who we believe are not doing enough, and we will continue to raise our voice when necessary.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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