Press Release

ADL Receives $1 Million Grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to Detect and Measure Online Hate Speech

Craig Newmark

Stephanie Canciello, Unali Artists

Craig Newmark

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New York, NY, April 29, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) has received a generous $1 million grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to help support ADL’s work to detect, expose and counter online hate speech. The two-year grant will directly support the work of ADL’s Center on Technology and Society, including the Online Hate Index, while also helping to bolster the organization’s overall activities during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Online Hate Index™ (OHI), an initiative of ADL’s Center for Technology and Society (CTS), is designed to transparently and systematically measure online hate speech. Based on research from leading academics, incorporating cutting-edge Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning approaches combined with ADL’s expertise on hate symbols, language, and extremist activities, the tool provides standardized measures of hate speech and uncovers trends and patterns in hate speech across major online platforms.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation and more extremists moving online, this grant could not come at a more critical moment,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We are deeply grateful and honored to be counted among Newmark grantees: organizations that monitor and fight disinformation and online harassment.”

“We know that the pandemic has had an outsized impact on vulnerable minority groups, including Asian Americans and Jewish Americans who are now being blamed and scapegoated online for creating and spreading the virus,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. “Now more than ever, it is vital to invest in innovative approaches to detect and stop hate speech from spreading online.”

ADL is a national organization with a mandate to track and respond to hatred directed not only against Jewish people, but against all minorities and vulnerable populations. With 25 regional offices across the United States, ADL has unparalleled presence in the field to respond to incidents where and when they happen.

Global anxiety about the outbreak of the coronavirus has spawned misinformation and scapegoating. Since the spread of the virus in the U.S., we have seen a surge of incidents of bias, harassment, and violence against Asian Americans, immigrants, and Orthodox Jewish communities.

ADL's response spans from public education, virtual teacher training, advocating with and for Latinx and Asian-American communities with policymakers and civil rights coalitions, and tracking extremist activities and disinformation online and in the streets around the virus.

Craig Newmark Philanthropies is a private foundation created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark in 2016 to support and connect nonprofit communities and drive powerful civic engagement. The Foundation’s priorities include Trustworthy Journalism, Veterans and Military Families, Voter Protection and Education, Consumer Protection and Education, Public Diplomacy, Government Transparency, Micro-Lending to Alleviate Poverty, and Women in Tech.