Anti-Defamation League Asks For Help From Social Media to Combat Cyberhate

At SXSW, ADL calls on newer social media channels to join effort with industry leaders to combat cyberhate.Three tech companies endorse ADL Best Practices for Countering Hate Speech Online.

New York, NY (March 10, 2016) – Three growing social media platforms used by more than 150 million people worldwide are the latest to join forces with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in encouraging greater efforts to curb online hate speech and harassment.

The social media companies, Quizlet and Whisper and have each endorsed ADL’s Best Practices for Responding to Cyberhate, which guides the best known Internet companies’ response to online hate speech and serves as a foundational piece for collaboration between industry and non-industry experts like ADL. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, SoundCloud, Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube previously endorsed ADL’s Best Practices.

Ahead of the upcoming South by Southwest (SXSW) Online Harassment Summit in Austin, Texas, ADL is calling on emerging Internet companies and social media platforms to endorse its Best Practices and join all those working to combat the growing hate and violence being incited online by terrorists, domestic extremists, and cyberbullies.

“Fighting cyberhate has never been more critical, but we cannot go it alone,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “It takes a community to stand together to counter online harassment. Only with an all-hands-on-deck approach will we be able to confront cyberhate and protect the free flow of ideas which lies at the core of the Internet. We applaud, Quizlet and Whisper for their leadership in standing up against hate.”

The SXSW Online Harassment Summit is hoping to stem a “menace that has often resulted in real-world violence; the spread of discrimination; increased mental health issues and self-inflected physical harm.”

ADL’s Best Practices provide guidance to companies when their platforms are used to transmit anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic, misogynist, xenophobic or other forms of hate, prejudice and bigotry.

“The major social media companies have made substantial progress in their response to cyberhate over the past several years,” said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs. “But there are new battlefronts opening up constantly that we need to address, particularly newer, smaller social media platforms. We need to stop the bullies, extremists and haters from exploiting those platforms as well.”

Said Nona Farahnik, Director, Trust & Safety at Whisper: “Whisper believes that all digital platforms maintain a fundamental responsibility to proactively mitigate online hate and bullying. We take every effort to combat cyberhate on our platform, with a hybrid community safety operation that includes both robust human and advanced technical moderation systems. We are grateful that the ADL is leading the charge against cyberhate by developing and articulating best practices in the space.”

ADL helped shape the SXSW summit and will play a lead role steering discussions about the problem with other industry leaders. Five ADL leaders and experts will address the March 12 Online Harassment Summit:

“Industry Innovation and Social Responsibility” with Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, Lisa Hammitt, IBM; Michelle Dennedy, Cisco, and James Lynch, Intel.

“How Far Should We Go to Protect Hate Speech Online?” with Deborah Lauter, ADL Senior Vice President, Policy and Programs; Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center; Juniper Downs, Google; Monika Bickert, Facebook, and Lee Rowland, ACLU.

“Respond and Protect: Expert Advice Against Online Hate” with Jonathan Vick, ADL Assistant Director for Cyberhate Response; Alon David, Red Button; and Jonathan Godfrey, ACT – The App Association.

“Profiling a Troll: Who They are and Why They Do it” with Oren Segal, Director of ADL’s Center on Extremism and Joseph Reagle, Northeastern University.

“Tech and the United Front Against Online Hate,” with Steven Freeman, ADL Deputy Director, Policy and Programs; Desiree Caro, HeartMob; Michelle Ferrier,; and Nona Farahnik, Whisper.

Since publishing its first report on cyberhate in 1985, ADL has been an international leader in tracking, exposing, and responding to hate on the Internet. The League’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide is a valued resource for people encountering offensive content, and its team of experts – analysts, investigators, researchers and linguists – uses cutting-edge technology to monitor, track, and combat extremists and terrorists worldwide.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. Follow us on Twitter: @ADL_News