The following is a summary of activities discussed in the OHPI Directors Report prepared for our 2016 AGM. It reflects work undertaken between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016. The report itself contains further details on each section, which may be seen if you click for more information within each of the sections below.
From the CEO…
Online hate has been exploding over the past year, and spreading offline to poison society. Our impact tackling this critical problem is presented here. Seeing how critical the problem has become, we put the last of the funding from major donors, funds from our supporters online donations, and most of our reserves into blunting the growing tide of hate. While the hate continues to grow, our income for the current financial year (ending in June 2017) looks like it will be 95% lower than two years ago.
We tackle an urgent and growing problem and we’ve put everything on the line to show what we can do. This report show not only what we can do, but what we have done to make a difference. To continue having this sort of impact, we urgently need your support to replace the seed funding which is now ended. The best way to support us (if you are in Australia) is with a regular monthly donation, setup as a transfer through your online banking. Our account is “Online Hate Prevention Fund”, BSB: 083-088 Account: 73-337-6910. Please include your name in the transaction and e-mail us to let us know so that we can send you a tax deductible receipt at the end of the financial year. If you are outside Australia, or prefer, you can donate with PayPal.
We also welcome your comments and feedback on this report, the impact we have had and the importance of this work. Comments are invited on Facebook in this thread. Shares and likes are very welcome, but with a 95% drop in income compared to two years ago, we really need your charitable donations as well to keep the work going. And now, a look at out key areas of impact…
Software tools to combat online hate
OHPI’s FightAgainstHate.com online reporting tool aims to make social media companies publicly accountable for their performance in removing hate. It allows users to report hate content on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter so both the content, and the company’s responses to it, can be monitored. It has been highly praised. It currently has 876 registered users and has received 5633 reports relating to 4245 unique items of online hate.
A new software product called “Crowd Sourced Intelligence – Cyber Hate And Threats” (CSI CHAT) has been developed to allow users from select organisations such as NGOs, academics, and government agencies, to process items reporting through FightAgainstHate.com according to their own schema, create incident reports and undertaking trend analysis.
Read more about our software.
Report on Antisemitism
We created the world’s first large scale empirical report on hate speech in social media titled “Measuring the Hate: The State of Antisemitism in Social Media”. It was prepared by OHPI on behalf of the Global Forum to Combat Antisemitism which is managed by the antisemitism department within the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The report is based on over 2,000 items of antisemitism gathered across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and looks at traditional antisemitism, new antisemitism, Holocaust denial and promotion or incitement to violence. The report also tracked how the social media companies responded over 10 months.
Read more about our Antisemitism Report
Report on Anti-Muslim Hate
We created the worlds first large scale empirical report on anti-Muslim hate. The report “Spotlight on Anti-Muslim Internet Hate Interim Report” is based on a sample of over 1,000 items of anti-Muslim hate, mostly from Facebook, reported by the public. The hate is divided into a range of themes of negative messages about Muslim and the report highlights how popular each theme was and given an initial view on how likely Facebook was to remove each theme.
Read more about our anti-Muslim Hate Report
Briefings & Guides
During the year OHPI published 84 briefings through our website, and promoted most of them through our newsletter. Each briefing took an in depth look at an item of online hate, such as a particular Facebook page, examined a question about preventing online hate or explored the issues surrounding a type of online hate. Calls to action empowered readers to respond. The 84 briefings were shared more than 39,217 times in total. We also have a set of guides to report the different sorts of content on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google+ which have proved very useful for the public. Our briefings and guides have increased our reach and the diversity of our coverage.
Learn more about OHPI’s briefing
OHPI continues to have a significant online presence. Our Facebook page has over 24,000 supporters, and our reach was over 2,770,000. Our total number of Tweets is 2,662 Tweets and we have 727 followers. Our website was viewed by over 57,500 people during the financial year. The BBC was the top external site referring people to OHPI.
Learn more about OHPI’s online impact
OHPI engaged with a range of government stakeholders at both the operational and strategic level. This work included 9 incidents working with State or Federal Police. We received funding from the Victorian Government and surpassed the Key Progress Indicators in the funding agreement. The Australian Federal Police were listed along with community organisations as a supporter of our Spotlight on Anti-Muslim Hate (SAMIH) project. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) appointed our CEO to be one of the experts in Australia’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The Victorian Government appointed OHPI a member of the Research Institute on Social Cohesion (RIOSC).
Read more about our engagement with Government
OHPI has continued to attend events supporting community harmony and diversity while sharing these events online with our supporters. We have attended inter-cultural and inter-faith events, community cohesion events and visited Bendigo a number of times in response to the targeting of that city by the far-right. We also gave presentations to a range of community organisations and universities and delivered training on Holocaust denial for the Jewish Holocaust Centre. A range of community organisations were partners in our anti-Muslim hate project including the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA).
Read more about OHPI’s community & civil society engagement.
After being appointed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as one of eight experts in Australia’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), OHPI’s CEO, Dr Andre Oboler, has attended and presented at meeting and conferences of IHRA in Hungary and Romania. A visit to Turkey included a range of presentations for the Jewish community and local universities. The UN sponsored a visit to the UN headquarters in New York where we presented at a conference on Hate Speech in the media and online. The session was broadcast on UN TV and is available online. Through the IEEE Computer Society we presented in India on the technical challenges to combating hate speech. Since the end of the period covered in this report further presentations for the IEEE have taken place at MIT in Boston, at the University of Winnipeg, and at the University of California, Irvine and we also delivered a training session for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights and gave a breakfast briefing for the Anti-Defamation League.
Learn more about our International Engagement
OHPI was in the media 41 times during the year. Broadcast coverage included the SBS TV special “The Goddam Election! with John Safran” and radio interviews on ABC Radio National, 3AW, SBS, CAAMA, K-Rock and J-Air. Print / online coverage appeared in The Australian, The Daily Mail, The Herald Sun, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, News.com.au, ABC Online, SBS Online, J-Wire and The Stringer. Internationally we received coverage from the BBC, Haaretz, The Times of Israel, Social Times, Algemeiner, The Jewish Press, Salom (Turky), The Federalist, Vice.com, GPB Now, Jüdische Allgemeine, Stuff.co.nz and others. Since July 1 2016 there are an additional 12 media items, including Triple J, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Herald Sun, The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Forward and New Matilda.
OHPI’s initial seed funding from private donors ended partway through this past financial year. We have been unsuccessful in our efforts to secure sustainable support from either major donors or government to enable this work to continue. Our income has dropped from around $245,00 in 2015, to around $158,000 for 2016 financial year, and with an estimate of just $10,000 for the current year.
A significant part of our current income comes from a small number of individuals who have setup regular monthly donations, typically $10 a month, and we are very grateful for their support. For OHPI to become sustainable, and able to produce the sort of impact demonstrated above, we need your help. If you can, please join our regular supporters to help us grow in a sustainable way. We’ve demonstrated what we can do over almost 5 years now. With your support we can keep doing it. The problem of online hate is growing and is now more urgent than ever. Your support makes a real difference.
Spread the word & stay in touch
The best way to stay in touch with us is to join our mailing list. You can also join our 24,000+ fans by liking our Facebook page. We are also on Twitter @onlinehate. Please do take a moment to share this report with others and spread the word: [wpsr_facebook type=send]