There’s a New Anti-Semitic Message on Social Media Every 83 Seconds: Study

March 24, 2017, 11:06 PM UTC
Internet 'troll' convictions soar
Internet 'troll' convictions soar. File photo dated 06/08/13 of a woman using a laptop computer as convictions for crimes under a law used to prosecute internet "trolls" have increased eight-fold in a decade, official figures reveal. Issue date: Sunday May 24, 2015. Last year 1,209 people were found guilty of offences under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 - equivalent to three every day - compared with 143 in 2004. It is a crime under the Act to send "by means of a public electronic communications network" a message or other material that is "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character". Previously little used, Section 127 has come to prominence in recent years following a string of high-profile cases of so-called trolling on social media sites. It can also cover phone calls and emails, and cases of "persistent misuse" that cause the victim annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety. Statistics released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) show that 1,501 defendants were prosecuted under the law last year - including 70 juveniles - while another 685 were cautioned. Of those convicted, 155 were jailed - compared with just seven a decade before. The average custodial sentence was 2.2 months. See PA story CRIME Trolls. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire URN:23102917
Photograph by Dominic Lipinski — PA Wire/AP

Someone spews hatred toward Jewish people every 83 seconds on social media, according to a new study.

More than 382,000 hate-filled messages against Jews were posted on popular social media platforms like Twitter (TWTR), Facebook (FB) and YouTube (GOOG) in 2016, the World Jewish Congress has found. The anti-Semitic missives were posted at an average rate of 44 per hour or one post every 83 seconds, the international group said.

“We knew that anti-Semitism online was on the rise, but the numbers revealed in this report give us concrete data as to how alarming the situation really is,” World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer said in a statement. “We hope this serves as a wake-up call to all internet forums to maintain moral standards, rid themselves of offensive content, and make the digital world a safer place for all.”

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Sixty-three percent of all the anti-Semitic posts were found on Twitter.

The group’s analysis comes after more than 100 Jewish institutions across the country received bomb threats this year.

Last May, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft (MSFT) said they would work with European officials to combat hate speech on their platforms. Another major civil rights group, the Anti-Defamation League, announced earlier this month that it plans to build a command center in Silicon Valley to tackle online hate speech.

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