OHPI was created in 2012 as a dedicated institute for addressing online hate. It took over the online antisemitism work which the Community Internet Engagement Project of the Zionist Federation of Australia carried out between 2009 and 2011. OHPI expands this work to also examine other forms of online hate, while still maintaining online antisemitism as a particular focus area.

OHPI builds on six years of work in combating Online Hate by Dr Andre Oboler. This work began in the UK with “Zionism On The Web”, a website to combat online hate that was launched in 2005. In 2007 Dr Oboler continued this work in Israel while a Post Doctoral Fellow. His work in the area of online antisemitism, published primarily by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, received international attention. On the basis of his work Dr Oboler became a member of the Global Forum to Combat Antisemitism, and in time co-chair of its Online Antisemitism Working Group.

Returning to Australia, the Zionist Federation of Australia and the Pratt Foundation created the Community Internet Engagement Project to allow this important work to continue within an Australian setting. The CIE project was a great success in terms of output and impact, but without deductable gift recipient status it was unable to secure long term funding. The CIE project closed after two years with an agreement to transfer those aspects of the project that could be charitable to a new institution capable of being a deductable gift recipient.

The collaborative online monitoring software, “Fight Against Hate” that is a key part of OHPI’s business plan has already been substantially designed as part of the CIE project. It has also been presented to and received approval from a meeting of experts, and at public events where it was presented in both Melbourne and Sydney. Thanks are given to the Pratt Foundation and B’nai B’rith Australia and New Zealand who substantially funded this work, and to the Zionist Federation of Australia for their efforts to ensure the work can continue in a viable manner.