It’s a standard, and unfortunate, rule of thumb – that where there is heated discussion around Israel, antisemitism rarely seems to be far behind. It seems almost impossible to come across a thread or a Facebook post that broaches the topic sensibly and that doesn’t descend into arguments that flirt with age-old antisemitic tropes or that draw on Jewish suffering by labelling Israelis or Israel itself as Nazi-inspired.
CST supports National Hate Crime Awareness Week and launches guide to tackling antisemitism on Facebook
CST is proud to support the annual National Crime Awareness Week, a week of action to raise awareness and to encourage local authorities, communities and key partners to tackle hate crime. This week, the Home Office revealed that hate crimes against Jews had doubled in England and Wales, with 1,326 recorded in 2018/9, compared to 672 the previous year. In 18% of the recorded religious hate crimes, Jews were the target, while 47% targeted the Muslim community.
The angry reactions to CST’s recent report, Engine of Hate: The online networks behind the Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis, show exactly why such research is necessary. The reactions denied what the report said, whilst demonstrating the behaviours that caused it to be written in the first place. Some might call that ironic. Attacks have misrepresented what the report actually says. Similarly, CST has also been attacked and misrepresented. CST expected these reactions. Nevertheless, the misrepresentations are worth noting and exposing. Unfortunately, doing so requires some length, so as the points can be explicitly demonstrated.
CST is a member of CATCH, the Community Alliance To Combat Hate, which is partnership of organisations from different communities to support victims of hate crimes and ensure they get the help they need. This month, all the CATCH members ran a campaign in response to growing race hatred and polarisation.
16 April 2019
The #WeDeserveBetter campaign is a Europe-wide NGO-led campaign that will run from the beginning of May until 26 May. The objective of the campaign is to improve the tone of online and social media conversations, encouraging better empathy, tolerance and respect in debates and public discourse. The campaign is raising awareness about the normalization of hate speech in public and political discourse, which is preventing critical debates and block us from engaging with people many see as ‘others’.
In association with the Antisemitism Policy Trust and CST, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has produced an eye-opening short study, Hidden Hate: What Google searches tell us about antisemitism today, which was released earlier this month. The report looked at what people search for when using Google, as well as examined the far right, often antisemitic, forum Stormfront, based in the USA.
Last week, CST and the Antisemitism Policy Trust released the report, Hidden Hate: What Google Search Tell us About Antisemitism in the UK, authored by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. This used Google search patterns in the UK since 2004 to reveal attitudes in this country towards Jews. Searches about Zionism in the UK, including those that searched for “Hitler Zionism”, were included in this work.
What can the internet tell us about antisemitism in the United Kingdom? Today , CST and the Antisemitism Policy Trust publish a new report, called Hidden Hate: What Google searches tell us about antisemitism today, that uses Google search data from 2004 to 2018 to show what people in the UK are searching for in relation to Jews, Zionism and the Holocaust, and what this tells us about antisemitic attitudes in Britain today. The report is authored by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, who wrote the acclaimed 2017 book Everybody Lies: What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. The report also uses data from the complete archive of the far right website Stormfront, which has been used as a discussion board by neo-Nazis across the world for over 20 years.
CST was delighted to be a part of the inaugural Sara Conference, facilitated by the Antisemitism Policy Trust, at the prestigious Lancaster House, to inspire women to tackle gender-based racial hatred. CST’s Northern Regional Director, Amanda Bomsztyk, CST’s Head of Policy, Dave Rich and CST’s Digital Media Specialist were all in attendance and were joined later by several other staff members at a reception at Downing Street, addressed by Prime Minister Theresa May.
This October, CST supported National Hate Crime Awareness Week (NHCAW) organised by 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign alongside Stop Hate UK. CST attended events and ran stalls around London and produced a successful social media campaign to raise awareness of NHCAW and the importance of reporting hate crime.
Over the High Holy Day period in September and the beginning of October, CST was proud to run a joint digital campaign with partner, Tell Mama, who record and measure anti-Muslim incidents in the UK. The campaign, ‘#DontLabelMe I am Human Too’, was born out of a Europe-wide project, and reached over 2 million people.
Antisemitic Holocaust denier and musician found guilty in landmark case after posting grossly offensive videos
Alison Chabloz has been found guilty today by Judge John Zani at Westminster Magistrates Court, after broadcasting antisemitic songs on YouTube. Chabloz is a prolific social media user who was reported to CST on numerous occasions for antisemitism, particularly on Twitter and YouTube. Chabloz has a long history of engaging in antisemitism and working with neo-Nazi groups. Chabloz is due to be sentenced at a later date.
CST welcomes Facebook’s significant decision to ban far right Britain First page from their platform
CST is pleased to welcome the decision made by Facebook to remove the Britain First Facebook page, which had attracted over two million followers. Britain First, led by Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, is a far right “street protest movement” whose leaders have been jailed for religiously aggravated harassment. CST works closely with Facebook to tackle antisemitism on the platform and hopes this is the first step in a wider takedown of groups that propagate hatred on the platform.
In January 2018, CST was delighted to launch the #AntisemitismHurtsMeToo campaign as part of the Create Against Hate project set up by Facebook. Facebook initiated the Create Against Hate project in order to inspire young creators to collaborate with charities and produce a campaign to combat hate speech and extremism online.
Today, CST is releasing a landmark report, Antisemitic Content on Twitter, that analysed 2.7 Million twitter posts relating to Jews and antisemitism, posted on Twitter between October 2015 and October 2016 in the UK. Key lessons from the research report include confirming that offline spikes in antisemitic discourse increase levels of anti-Jewish hostility on Twitter; that, encouragingly, antisemitic tweets are less likely to endure on Twitter than counter-narratives tweeted by Jewish organisations and media; and a core group of Twitter users hostile to Jews and Judaism engage and exist in an online ‘echo chamber’ of like-minded users, and their poisonous discourse is unlikely to be disseminated and accepted widely beyond such groups.
CST works with the European Commission and social media companies to remove illegal hate speech online
The European Commission has released the results of the third round of its social media illegal hate speech monitoring. CST has been involved in the project from its inception with the Code of Conduct in 2016. The results show that the average removal rate of illegal hate speech on Twitter, Facebook and Google, from across Europe, was 70%. The monitoring project shows a significant improvement for social media companies, with regards to removal rates and feedback to users.
CST is inundated daily with reports about antisemitism online – whether it be on social media sites, traditional websites or blogs. CST works hard to ensure that social media companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, are educated and trained in what constitutes antisemitism and works with global partners to combat antisemitic hate website wherever they may be. However, the popular site, Urban Dictionary, appears to have taken away the ability to remove, or even try to begin the process of removing, antisemitism from the internet, highlighting the lack of cooperation CST often faces when it comes to tackling hate against Jews online.
In a new report from the Home Affairs Select Committee, the Government has been called on to consider whether it is a crime for social media companies to allow “illegal and dangerous” content on their platforms. The Committee called for the inquiry following the murder of Jo Cox MP by far right extremist Thomas Mair. CST submitted substantial evidence to the Committee, focusing on antisemitism on social media. The Committee has recommended in their report for the Government to implement a stronger penalty for failure to act on hate online, for social media platforms to pay towards the cost of policing the platforms and for social media companies to issue reports on their safeguarding activity.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, this week launched a new police unit to investigate and tackle online hate crime. CST deals with antisemitic abuse on a daily basis and this new unit aims to tackle such abuse on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms and aims to assist victims. CST was delighted to join representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service, the Metropolitan Police and other leading anti-hate crime charities at the launch this week in City Hall. CST is also a member of the Community Advisory Group for the hub, that advises on how online hate crime affects different communities.
This month Twitter announced several changes to their safety policies, following constructive dialogue with CST and several other groups. CST is pleased that following extensive reporting by CST and others, several antisemitic accounts who harassed Jewish users and spread Holocaust denial and antisemitism have been suspended from the platform.
Twitter has today released a new update, in a bid to reduce hateful conduct, including antisemitism, from its platform. CST was briefed ahead of the launch, as we have been a trusted partner of Twitter since the beginning of 2015, assisting Twitter in dealing with instances of antisemitic abuse. The new update comes following criticism that the platform has allowed hate speech to flourish, but Twitter has stressed that it wants to enable users to feel safe, to have access to support and protection and for users to be able to control what they see.
Following the launch of the initiative Reclaim The Internet in May 2016, the campaign hosted its first conference yesterday at the Trade Union Congress Building in London. CST is proud to support this, and is happy to lend our expertise to the campaign. The initiative, spearheaded by former shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP, aims to raise awareness and tackle online abuse. The project was initially established to tackle misogyny online, and has since widened its scope to include the battle to end antisemitic, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ+ and bullying rhetoric across the internet.
Reclaim the Internet, the campaign to raise awareness and tackle abuse online, was launched this morning by Yvette Cooper MP and a panel of experts on abuse online. The campaign is focused on ending misogyny, sexual harassment and abuse online aimed at women, but the campaign is also a platform to bring together various groups dealing with abuse online, including CST.
Sheikh Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, better known as Abu Qatada al-Filistini, has not been in the UK for nearly three years, but his legacy still looms. He was deported to Jordan in 2013, acquitted on terrorism charges there, and since his release has been doing in Jordan what he did in Britain: encouraging people to support violent jihad and spouting antisemitism.
The controversy over Sir Gerald Kaufman MP’s (Labour) remarks about “Jewish money” and the Conservative Party has helped mask a simultaneous case with Sandra White (Scottish National Party), who is a Member of the Scottish Parliament, rather than the UK Parliament.
21 July 2015
Twitter has unveiled a new Safety Centre for users to learn about security both on Twitter and in the offline world. The platform has seen an increase of 500% in reports of violations to Twitter policy since changing the way users report harassment, whilst CST saw an increase of 118% in the number of antisemitic incidents reported in 2014.
Facebook has published a new set of rules explaining to users what kind of content is not allowed on the site. These include tougher restrictions on hate content and a ban on the use of Facebook by organisations that promote hate.
Jews, money and power is a well-worn antisemitic trinity. So, what possessed David Ward MP to send this tweet on 15th November? That Roma are marginalised is not in question. If David Ward MP wishes they had a better reputation, or better representation, then let him say so:…
This article, by CST's Mark Gardner, is in the September-October 2012 edition of Hope Not Hate magazine. A shorter version is on the Haaretz website, entitled "Jihad, lone wolves and the terror threats facing Jews today": ------ We already know that Al Qaeda and the extremes of the far right share…
Strathclyde Police have charged five adults and a child with a breach of the peace with religious and racial aggravations. This follows searches, computer seizures and arrests made on Friday 11th May, 2012 in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire. The arrests concern antisemitic remarks posted in September 2011,…
CST and the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism used Safer Internet Day 2012 to promote the online reporting of hate crime via the True Vision reporting website to Members of Parliament yesterday. True Vision, which can be found at http://www.report-it.org.uk, is a website run by the…
The question of how deeply embedded antisemitic stereotypes and slurs are in society is one of the less tangible areas of antisemitism research. Often, examples emerge in the most banal settings: less serious in many ways than actual antisemitic hate crimes or statements by high profile people, but somehow more…
5 July 2011
CST is now active on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. You can follow CST on both platforms by clicking on the buttons below. CST will retain its core focus as a community security organisation that monitors and cares for the victims of antisemitism. The Facebook page will include…
Last month this blog published some research looking at the antisemitic rhetoric and anti-Jewish targeting of the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which carried out the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008. The post included examples of threats to Jews and Hindus by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the head of…