LISTEN: Antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate after October 7, OHPI on ABC Radio National

This morning Dr Andre Oboler, the CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute, spoke with Patricia Karvelas on Radio National Breakfast about our new report on on online antisemitism after October 7, and our forthcoming report on anti-Muslim hate and anti-Arab racism.

After October 7 OHPI, together with the Online Hate Task Force (Belgium), we started the “Moment Project” in which researchers from both organisations spent 160 hours capturing antisemitism and 160 hours capturing anti-Muslim hate on 10 social media platforms: Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Gab, BitChute, Reddit and Telegram.

Dr Oboler highlighted the alarming increase of both forms of hate in the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent and ongoing war in Gaza. We saw antisemitism rise up to 1000% on some social media platforms compared to before October 7, and anti-Muslim hate (significantly less common than antisemitism before October 7) increased to above the pre-October 7 levels of antisemitism. In this Post-October 7 reality, which has persisted as a new normal, anti-Muslim hate is at alarming levels, and antisemitism is catastrophic being about 2.6 times high than the anti-Muslim hate. Both need urgent attention.

Additional thoughts (not in the interview)

One key part of the problem is that takedown rates by social media platforms, based on user reports, are low across the board. They vary not ony by platfrom, but according to the specific type of hate narrative that was reported. Some platfroms are better at removing antisemitism, others are better at removing anti-Muslim hate, but none of them are particularly good at removing any of it. This sends a signal to users who then continue to post such content, considering it acceptable.

Even if platform removals were more effective, there are those who deliverately go on social media primarily to promote hate. For these users, sanctions like content removal and account suspension have little deterent effect. They see removals and suspensions as inconveniences and social media as a battleground where platform moderators are just another form of enemy combatant. For these users only the law holds enough deterent, but making use of it would require new laws and greater cooperation between social media companies and governments.

Supporting this work

The Online Hate Prevention Institute is a registered Australian charity. We also have DGR status, which means donations of over $2 are tax deductible in Australia. Donations can, however, be made by anyone from any part of the world.

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You can listen to the full interview here.