37 days since the escalations; over 1 million instances of hate speech and incitement.
Ed. Note: At the time of publishing this piece, we at IFEX are bearing witness to the atrocious escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel. In this worrisome context, we express our firm solidarity with IFEX members MADA, 7amleh and I’Iam, and with our colleagues throughout the region, as the consequences of the conflict spread beyond their borders.
This statement was originally published on 7amleh.org on 14 November 2023.
The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, has documented, using the “Violence Indicator”, over one million instances of hate speech and/or incitement to violence in Hebrew targeting Palestinians and Palestinian rights advocates on social media platforms since October 7, 2023. The vast majority of these cases were found mainly on “X”, which is due to the platform’s lack of sufficient moderation mechanisms to stop the spread of hate speech and incitement to violence. 68% of the documented instances of hate speech and incitement were based on political affiliations and/or nationalist sentiments, while 29% of them were rooted in racist bias. The remaining instances included gender-based and religious violence, among others.
Additionally, through the Palestinian Observatory of Digital Rights Violations (7or), 7amleh has documented 1,447 digital rights violations across Social Media platforms since October 7, up until November 14. The violations included 573 cases of account restriction or content takedowns affecting Palestinian users or supporters of Palestinian rights, in addition to 904 manually verified cases of hate speech and incitement to violence.
7amleh reasserts that major social media companies, such as “Meta” and “X” must fulfill their responsibility to fairly moderate content published on their platforms and to combat hate speech and incitement in a non-discriminatory way, including in the Hebrew language. Hate speech and incitement to violence on social media platforms translate into real-world harm, as Nadim Nashif, Director of 7amleh said: “These tweets, classified as hate speech and incitement, can translate into real-world attacks on Palestinians, as we previously reported how hate speech and incitement on ‘X’ led to organized attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Israel.”
The “Violence Indicator” designed by 7amleh, is a linguistic model that uses artificial intelligence technology to automatically monitor the spread of hate speech and incitement to violence on social media platforms in Hebrew. Its findings are updated in real-time and are displayed on the (7or) platform. 7amleh encourages social media users to report any violations related to censorship, hate speech, incitement, and the spread of false news, to the (7or) platform.