NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress has commended Facebook and Instagram for taking pro-active steps to stop online antisemitism, in the wake of the deadly shooting attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh we claimed the lives of 11 people.
“Both Facebook and Instagram have taken a strong and important step this week in ensuring that their networks are a safe space for all users, by vigilantly monitoring and removing content that could easily contribute to incitement and violence against Jews,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer. “Social media is by far one of the most important tools today in spreading ideas and news, both real and fake. We are pleased to see that Facebook and Instagram are taking seriously their moral responsibility and the impactful role they play in shaping public opinion.
Earlier this week, Instagram removed more than 12,000 posts using the hashtags “#911wasdonebythejews” and “jewsdid911,” which spread conspiracy theories regarding the Pittsburgh massacres. Facebook, on its part, removed accounts associated with the far-right group The Proud Boys, citing hate speech and incitement that violate Facebook policies.
“There is still much to be done to counter antisemitic narratives and better educate people about the Holocaust and the dangers of xenophobia and hate speech,” Singer said. “Across online platforms, such content is still accessible. We must continue to work together to flag this material, and to remain vigilant in helping the companies to be able to enforce their own guidelines to this effect.”
The World Jewish Congress has developed a productive working relationship with Facebook over the last few years, and welcomed its strong support in the 2018 #WeRemember campaign ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day and its assistance in spreading awareness about the horrors of genocide and hatred.