Twitter urged to adopt IHRA definition of antisemitism

From across the world, 180 nonprofit and civil rights organisations, including the Online Hate Prevention Institute, have joined to call on Elon Musk to update Twitter’s anti-hate policies by adopting the globally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism as a guiding tool to stymie the spread of Jew hatred.

Since its establishment, Twitter has become one of the world’s preeminent social media platforms for online discussions, where citizens, elected officials, and the media exercise their right to free expression and engage in healthy and productive conversations.

To maximise the probability that the future is good, the world needs an online platform where everyone can participate. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as Jewish users are subject to unrelenting harassment on Twitter.

Dr Andre Oboler, the CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute, says that the campaign against antisemitism on Twitter is badly needed at this time. Twitter’s current antisemitism problem also reflects long standing problems with the platform. Oboler explains:

“The Online Hate Prevention Institute was the first organisation in the world to systematically monitor antisemitism in social media. As far back as 2016 we published research showing that Twitter removed far less incitement to antisemitic violence than other major platforms (14% compared to 75% removed by Facebook, and 30% removed by YouTube) and in fact was worse than Facebook at removing all types of antisemitism.”

“Six years later, in October 2022, I found myself gathering data for a presentation to a conference on online antisemitism run by the Greek government. On Facebook, Instagram and YouTube it took a few minutes to find good examples while on Twitter it took just seconds to find multiple examples of the same sort of antisemitism, all tweeted within the last 24 hours.”

“As we heard at the recent summit on online antisemitism in Washington DC, many social media platforms are failing to take appropriate action when it comes to antisemitism. Twitter continues to take us to new lows, and the pace is rapidly accelerating since Elon Musk took over the company. If this is allowed to continue, it will once again be Jews who pay the ultimate price.” 

Full letter

See the full letter we sent to Elon Musk here.

How you can help

  • Join the social media storm by posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok while using the hashtags #AdoptIHRA and #DefineItToFightIt. You can also tag @elonmusk on Twitter.
  • Join as a signatory either as an individual or organisation here.
  • Report antisemitism on social media to the platform and to our online hate reporting tool.