In an annual digital terrorism report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in partnership with Speaker of the New York City Council Adrienne Adams, social media and gaming sites are receiving failing grades in their efforts to curb antisemitism and Jew-hatred.
Recently, the Simon Wiesenthal Center released its 27th annual Digital Terrorism Report in partnership with Adrienne Adams- and the report card served as a comprehensive audit of social media and online communication platforms.
This year’s Digital Terrorism Report exposes widespread Russian disinformation and fake news sites connected to the invasion of Ukraine, along with conspiracy theories; virulent anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic hate messaging; the targeting of minority communities; and, perhaps most concerningly, the infiltration of children’s gaming platforms by neo-Nazis and other extremists.
“The release of the 27th annual Digital Terrorism Report demonstrates that hate spreads online in social media and gaming platforms, which often reaches and influences our young people,” Adams said. “We must continue to root out hate in all of its forms to make our communities safer.”
Adams says the Jewish community in New York is still the most targeted for hate crimes, which can be fueled by misinformation and anti-Semitism, as well as conspiracy theories online.
“The hate is reaching a new generation. The battleground is online, and that’s where our children are. We’ve got to hold these platforms accountable and to educate parents on what they should be looking for,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global social action at the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC).
As a result of widespread instances of antisemitism in New York, the City Council is calling on the mayor’s office to pledge $5 million for community hate-crime prevention and response work.