The Hate Factor - Government of Israel Policy Outline for Combating Antisemitism Online

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs Policy Paper - Combatting Antisemitic Hate Speech Online

The online revolution has seen social media emerge as a leading medium for communication and information-sharing, giving rise to an unprecedented potential for people to express themselves and exchange ideas openly. But this great advance presents challenges, among them coping with the rapid spread of hate speech. In the past, radical views were mostly beyond the scope of mainstream discourse. Today, in the borderless, networked world, hate speech, conspiracy theories and fake news are disseminated to vast audiences, sometimes anonymously, with a single click.

This spread of hate speech is harming many minorities worldwide, targeted based on religion, gender, nationality, and race. Jews are no strangers to being targeted by hate speech and age-old antisemitism is alive and well today, both in its classic and new manifestations. The alarming global rise in antisemitic incidents around the world in recent years is consistent with the increase in online hate speech against the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

For their part, social media companies, which are privately-owned public platforms, enjoy tremendous autonomy in defining hate speech policy and enforcing it, with little international or local standards or regulation. As both rule maker and rule enforcer, social media companies may choose to act against or ignore hate speech, sometimes with dramatic effect, as witnessed in the events in the United State in January.

Tackling online hate speech is a complex and multidimensional challenge. To this end, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, which are charged with combatting antisemitism and the delegitimization of Israel, present this proposed policy outline in an effort to organize the government's approach to combatting antisemitic hate speech online.