Combating Online Hate - World Jewish Congress

Combating Online Hate

A 21st Century Challenge for UN Member States A 21st Century Challenge for UN Member States

Calendar 29 September 2022

Start time 7:00 a.m. (New York) / 13:00 (Geneva) / 14:00 (Jerusalem)


Duration 60 minutes

The World Jewish Congress hosted a hybrid side-event to the Human Rights Council 51st session in late September discussing the strategies and good practices developed by United Nations Member States to combat hatred online. Some 40 countries were represented at the event, with around 20 ambassadors in attendance, including the President of the UN Human Rights Council Federico Villegas, as well as Ambassador Katharina Stasch of Germany and Ambassador Lotte Knudsen of the European Union, both of whom delivered welcoming remarks, stressing the importance of combating online hate in national and European digital strategies.   

Following Ambassador Stasch and Ambassador Knudsen’s remarks, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Project Officer Heather Mann outlined the recently published UNESCO, United Nations and WJC report, which found that Holocaust denial and distortion remains widespread in social media, even when there are content moderation policies in place. 

Subsequent to Mann’s remarks, Elizabeth Kanter of TikTok, Peggy Hicks of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Marc Limon of Universal Rights Group, and Yfat Barak-Cheney of the World Jewish Congress addressed the role that different elements of the international system can play in combating online hate during a panel discussion.  

The event concluded with remarks from participating ambassadors. The ambassadors of Austria, Slovakia and Bulgaria affirmed their support in combating any form and type of online hate.  

Amb. Desiree Schweitzer, Permanent Representative of Austria to the UN, announced the donation of €20 000 by the Austrian government to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, a contribution aimed to strengthen the Office’s efforts to address antisemitism and called for other UN Member States to join them in contributing to this important goal.  

The Permanent Representative of Slovakia, Amb. Dusan Matulay, announced his country’s intent to present a joint statement against antisemitism, with a focus on the online sphere, at the current UNHRC session.