WJC @ UNHRC 46: Curbing hate speech on social media
Representative delivering the statement: Ms. Elizaveta Zaidman
Thank you, Madam President.
The year 2020 was marked by an appalling spread of hateful rhetoric online, “the disease of minds” as the Special Rapporteur poignantly notes. The World Jewish Congress welcomes the topical focus of Dr. de Varennes’s report on hate speech, social media and minorities, and we would like to congratulate him on his tireless work on this issue.
Regrettably, Jews today still confront an age-old hatred perpetuated by forgeries such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other forms of antisemitic propaganda, including conspiracy myths, misinformation, and scapegoating.
Most of these libels portray Jews and other minorities as a threat, and their viral spread on the internet has led to violent hate crimes. We’ve witnessed this phenomenon during the attack on the Synagogues in Halle and Pittsburgh or the Mosques in Christchurch.
We welcome the comprehensive recommendations offered by the Special Rapporteur on the ways of combatting hate speech online, including improving the legal and policy framework against hate speech and hate crimes. Education is also key, and the World Jewish Congress together with UNESCO and Facebook launched a tool to direct users who search for Holocaust information on the platform to reliable information.
We would like to ask the Special Rapporteur, what actions should this Council take to protect the most vulnerable, so that the online space can be free from hateful content?