Online Holocaust Denial Suppressed in English, Rife in Arabic

As International Holocaust Remembrance Day forces Jews to ask themselves how safe they feel, new data from CyberWell has revealed social media companies’ underinvestment in monitoring antisemitism in Arabic.

Research has found that social media platforms only remove 20% of all antisemitic content on their sites. CyberWell data shows that platforms police Holocaust denial content more aggressively than other forms of antisemitism, resulting in a removal rate of 36% – but only in English. In Arabic, the rate plummets to 10%.

“These findings fit with what we’ve learned in studying how social media companies respond to hate speech: platforms will only devote resources to keeping users safe if enough people report problems, which puts Jews at a disadvantage,” said CyberWell founder and CEO Tal-Or Cohen. “Jews already make up less than a quarter of one percent of the global population, but fewer still are active on Arabic social media, which is home to a disproportionate amount of antisemitic content.”

The IHRA definition of antisemitism, which CyberWell uses to classify antisemitic content, describes eleven main categories of antisemitism, two of which deal directly with the Holocaust.

  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms, or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II.
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

Many social media platforms have taken significant steps to limit such content; neither Facebook nor TikTok will return results for the query “Holohoax,” and searching for that term on Facebook will produce a link to Holocaust information provided by the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

That picture changes in Arabic, however; the WJC link is not provided to those searching for Holocaust denial.

CyberWell’s database, powered by their advanced AI-based effort to monitor social media for antisemitic content, shows that similar posts questioning or denying the Holocaust are removed in English but remain online in Arabic.

“Reprehensible content is reprehensible in all languages,” said Cohen. “Social media platforms’ overreliance on user reports and underinvestment in combating Jew-hatred online in non-English languages has allowed blatant hate to proliferate in Arabic; by alerting them to these data insights, we hope to direct their attention toward fixing the problem.”

To explore CyberWell’s live interactive database of online antisemitism, visit https://app.cyberwell.org/.

About CyberWell

CyberWell is the world’s first live database of online antisemitism, using cutting-edge technology to collect digital hate so it can be studied and stopped. CyberWell’s platform is designed to drive the enforcement and improvement of community standards and hate speech policies across the digital space.

About Staff

They call me "NewsHound IV," because I'm a clever Finnegan, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was a rescue pup and glad to be on the scent!

Check Also

Boulder Jewish Festival 2024: A Delightful Day with 15,000 Attendees and Vibrant Entertainment

Around 15,000 attended the 28th Boulder Jewish Festival, enjoying great weather, performances, and exhibits from numerous organizations, artists, and food vendors.

Adoptee Support Group Forming

A new adoption support group is forming on June 18, 2024 in the Boulder-Longmont Colorado area, for adult adoptees and facilitated by psychotherapist and adoptee Janice Shayne, CHt.