Meeting with the Attorney General

Yesterday Online Hate Prevention Institute Chairman Martin Splitter and CEO Dr Andre Oboler met with Australia’s Attorney General Mark Dreyfus to discuss the alarming rise in online hate and the need for specific law reform around eSafety and countering extremism.

Our meeting highlighted the need for evidence based policy around online safety, as well as the large large body of evidence the Online Hate Prevention Institute has built up over the last 12 years. We shared how governments around the world are making use of this Australian resource, and how more could be done here at home to make the most of this resourse. We shared how our capacity has expanded this year thanks to a competitive grant from the Commonwealth Government under their Safe and Together Community Grants Program, but that our capacity is still far below the demand given level of online hate continue to grow and become more extreme.

We shared our latest data across 9 different data collection projects this year, as well as our deradicalisation work through our Exit project (run at arms length from the rest of our work by OHPI Director Matthew Quinn). We drew particular attention to our data showing the sharp rise in both antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate since the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7 last year and the subsequent war.

The rich data we shared on the current elevated levels of hate against Jews and Muslims drew from our recent report on antisemitism, as well as our soon to be released report on anti-Muslim hate. It looked at the level of hate on each of 10 social media platforms. It broke this down into 27 sub-categories of antisemitism and 11 sub-categiries of anti-Muslim hate and have the volume of the hate that made use of each of these specific hateful narratives. The data also looked at how common each of the specific hate narratives were on each platform. It also included the takedown rates we have measured across the each of the platforms.

We also shared what we have been doing with police, including expert statements for NSW Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. We shared out international work, including last week when we were in the Netherlands working with their Ministry of Justice and Security on the first European Conference of Public Prosecution Services on Antisemitism. We mentioned the work a few weeks earlier briefing the national coordinators on antisemitism from around the world on technical aspects related to online antisemitism. We mentioned the training we are running in July, in partnership with the Online Hate Task Force and Brussels South Police, on hate targeting Jews and Muslims. This two day training program is being offered online, at no cost to participants, for police across Europe and Asian.