Recognizing hate speech: antisemitism on Facebook - Release Note

The Online Hate Prevention Institute is proud to affirm its commitment to ending racism on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We have joined forces with some of Australia’s leading businesses, sporting bodies and NGO’s to support the “Racism. It stops with me” campaign, which is being led by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The “Racism. It stops with me” campaign emphasises the importance of taking a stand against racism whenever it happens. The Online Hate Prevention Institute is undertaking a number of activities that aim to prevent racism in support of this campaign. The release of this important report, timed to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, is one such activity.

For information on the ‘Racism: It Stops with Me’ campaign, and a range of anti-racism resources: http://itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au

The campaign can also be followed on Twitter at @ItStopsWithMe.

One in seven Australians said they had experienced discrimination because of their colour or background in 2011, a figure that has been increasing steadily in recent years. The Online Hate Prevention Institute commends the Australian Human Rights Commission on the “Racism. It stops with me” campaign. We congratulate all the partner organisations who have signed up to support the campaign on their commitment.

To counter racism as a society, we must begin at the level of the individual. We must each take responsibility for our own actions to ensure we don’t ourselves spread racist ideas, but more, we must take action when we encounter racism as either a victim or as a bystander.

For most of us, taking action online on a platform such as Facebook requires a very small investment of effort. Facebook does their part in providing tools that empower the public to report racist content. As Facebook users we must each do our part to use these tools and report racist content we encounter.

Experts have an additional role to play in stopping racism. That’s why we have produced this report, doing our part to stop the racism and bring it to public attention. It is also why we shared a draft of this report with Facebook to enable them to do more to correct problems that may have inadvertently slipped through the net.

Unfortunately some of the content we shared with Facebook remains online. Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we call on Facebook to remove this content, and in a spirit of cooperation, we offer recommendations to Facebook on how they can do more to recognize and better respond to racism.

We the people are doing our part in reporting the problems we see, but without Facebook recognizing the hate, the effort made by millions of Facebook users to make Facebook a better online environment will amount to nothing as their complaints are wrongly rejected. On this day, we encourage Facebook to consider the recommendations in this report and to take appropriate action, in line with Facebook’s terms of service which already prohibit hate speech, to ensure every valid complaint will count.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1966, to coincide with the date in 1960 when police killed 69 people in Sharpeville, South Africa at a peaceful protest against apartheid laws. On this day the Online Hate Prevention Institute recognize all those working tirelessly in the fight against racism and reminds all those online campaigners against racism that we come into contact with that they are an acknowledged and valuable part of this proud tradition

The Online Hate Prevention Institute is a Charitable Institute and Incorporated as an Australian Public Company. ABN: 65 155 287 657 • Copyright OHPI © 2012 •
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