The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) and the World Jewish Congress hosted a forum on Wednesday bringing together Jewish leaders from 11 OSCE participating States and representatives from Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter to outline the experience of these Jewish communities with online antisemitism. Contributing to the First Regional Consultation between Jewish Communities and Tech and Social Media Companies on Combating Anti-Semitism Online forum was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
The forum discussing online antisemitism, Holocaust denial and distortion was not only for “dialogue's sake,” said Adviser on Combating Anti-Semitism, OSCE/ODIHR Mikolaj Wrzecionkowski. Rather, Wrzecionkowski expressed optimism that with the support of the WJC and other institutions it could be translated into “further regulatory and practical improvements going forward.”
Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, provided an overview of the current situation, noting that the meeting was taking place in the “backdrop of intensifying surge in antisemitism hatred both online and offline especially in the context of the conflict between Hamas in Israel.” Dr. Shaheed expressed hope for the forum and future meetings to “make an important contribution to how we can use these platforms to advance not only everyone's rights but also ensure that we plug those policy gaps.”
The WJC has worked closely with social media companies to tighten policy guidelines, combat the rampant spread of online antisemitism, and assess the efficacy of existing tools to address harm caused and identify identified gaps and opportunities for future improvement.