Politicians from five nations launch antisemitism taskforce
Lawmakers will develop policies to combat online hate
Politicians from five countries have joined together to launch an international taskforce to combat antisemitism online.
Lawmakers from the United Kingdom, United States, Israel, Australia and Canada will campaign for governments to hold social media platforms to account by developing policies that protect against hate speech.
They have already singled out social media giants Facebook, Google, Twitter and TikTok as needing to do more to root out antisemitism.
In the UK, Jewish MPs Alex Sobel (Labour) and Andrew Percy (Conservative) have joined the taskforce.
Mr Sobel, who represents Leeds North West, said that “the antisemitic hate that I have received has been wide and varied in nature. Overt slurs are easier to recognise and report, but antisemitism is often insidious and harder to root out.
“Antisemitic conspiracy theories are rife on social media, with many subscribers not realising the antisemitic roots and implications of QAnon and other right-wing conspiracy theories.
“By working together on this taskforce – across geographical and political boundaries – we can tackle the spread of misinformation and ensure that we have internationally recognised definitions of online hate, protecting all of its victims.”
Mr Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole, remarked on the “disturbing rise” in antisemitism online in recent years, stating that it was “important that we work together with allies across the world to tackle the rise in this vile bigotry.”
The taskforce follows the efforts of the #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate campaign, which saw a group of high-profile Jewish activists instigate a 48-hour “walkout” from Twitter following its inaction over a stream of antisemitic tweets by grime rapper Wiley.
Following that campaign, Digital and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced the government would introduce a new Online Harms Bill, which would require social media companies “put protections in place to ensure that racist antisemitism cannot fester and flourish on their sites.”