Social Media platforms have become a fast and hardly monitored way to spread racist and antisemitic content. The COVID-19 crisis led to the normalisation of antisemitism online. Antivaxers comparing the yellow star to the health pass is but one out of many examples of gross Holocaust distortion and relativisation.
As young Jews, it is our duty to oppose and fight against all forms of racism and antisemitism online.
The Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist & Violent Extremism Online, put forward by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron in the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in 2019, killing 51.
The EU Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online, put forward by the European Commission in May 2016, then signed by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, YouTube, followed by: 2018: Instagram, Snapchat and Dailymotion, 2019: Jeuxvideo.com, 2020: TikTok, 2021: LinkedIn.
EUJS’s own involvement within the Get The Trolls Out project & campaign “to combat discrimination and intolerance based on religious grounds in Europe”.
EUJS & its partners’ Recommendations for an EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life, and especially Part. A, Item 6: Address antisemitism online.
The European Union of Jewish Students notes:
1. 89% of European Jews aged 16-34 say antisemitism on the internet, including social media, is a problem in their country; and
2. 87% say it has increased over the past five years.
3. Governments and Courts throughout Europe are not yet equipped neither with the understanding nor the legal tools to face and condemn producers and spreaders of hate speech online.
The European Union of Jewish Students believes:
1. All European Jews should be able to live free of the concern of antisemitism, including online;
2. Actions taken by governments and international institutions to tackle hate speech online are not sufficient, as empirically shown by the rise of hate content during the pandemic;
The European Union of Jewish Students resolves:
1. Commit itself to being a leader in the fight against online hate speech and encourage other Civil Society Organisations to follow.
2. Engage whenever possible in existing coordinated EU-level work on countering online hate speech, sharing best practices, reflections, information and, if needed, by connecting Member Unions to relevant authorities in the event of a threat;
3. Take direct action against any individual, organisation, NGO, network or charity sharing hate speech content on social media platforms;
4. Empower & train Member Unions in holding social media platforms accountable for their passivity;
5. Advocate towards the European Commission for mainstreaming good practices among national authorities of EU Member States & Neighbours;
6. Join the Christchurch Call Advisory Network so as to emphasise the importance of understanding the diverse expressions of antisemitism (as defined by the IHRA Working Definition) in the fight against violent extremism online.