New York, NY, July 27, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the blog publishing platform WordPress to remove ISIS propaganda from its website, after the League’s research found a repository of ISIS videos, statements and publications on the platform.
WordPress has not responded to ADL’s flagging of the content, which included beheading and execution clips and articles encouraging individuals to travel, join and carry out attacks. ADL is also asking internet consumers to help persuade WordPress to remove the content.
“We applaud open source tools like WordPress that have given many tools to individuals and organizations to express themselves. However, if WordPress is aware of violent ISIS propaganda hosted on their servers, content that glorifies and promotes terrorism, then it is incumbent upon them to swiftly take some kind of action,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director. “Other social media companies have recently taken significant steps in the battle against online hate, and we hope that WordPress will make efforts to address terror propaganda on their service.”
According to ADL’s Center on Extremism, one particular website on WordPress includes ISIS materials as well as materials from other terror organizations in French, Turkish, Dutch, Arabic and other languages and includes a section for Dabiq, ISIS’ English-language magazine.
“ISIS and its supporters continue to maneuver through various channels to promote their message to as wide of audience as possible, so it is not surprising that they have found another virtual home on WordPress,” said Oren Segal, Director of ADL’s Center on Extremism. “Just last year, we witnessed ISIS attempting to move its social media presence away from Twitter, which regularly removed and shut down their profiles. WordPress can set an example by not only removing the content, but also by making clear that terrorist materials have no place on its platform.”
ADL’s “Best Practices for Responding to Cyberhate” establishes guideposts for the industry and the Internet community to help prevent the spread of online hate speech. The initiative is a result of discussions and deliberations by an industry working group convened by the League.
In an attempt to help Internet uses better navigate the various mechanisms available for reporting online hate speech, ADL launched The ADL Cyber-Safety Action Guide, a platform where consumers can learn how and where to report bigoted, bullying or hateful speech to the major social media platforms and other Internet providers.
A variety of other resources on cyberhate, including a special curriculum, Addressing Hate Online, designed specifically for high school students, are available on ADL’s web site.