Social media giants fail to curb 90% of antisemitism

Nine out of ten antisemitic posts on Facebook and Twitter stay online despite being reported, a large-scale study has found. Read more: Social media giants fail to curb 90% of antisemitism

Social media giants fail to curb 90% of antisemitism

Nine out of ten antisemitic posts on Facebook and Twitter stay online despite being reported, a large-scale study has found.

Holocaust denial, incitement of violence against Jews and other conspiracy theories remained even after they were flagged to moderators.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) identified 714 antisemitic posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok and reported them to the sites. Researchers then checked back over six weeks.

They found that 84 per cent had been allowed to stay online. On Facebook and Twitter, nine out of ten antisemitic posts were not deleted.

Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of CCDH, a non-profit organisation, said the findings showed social media was a “safe space for racists to normalise their conspiracies and hateful rhetoric without fear of consequences”.

He added: “This is not about algorithms or automation; our research shows that social media companies allow bigots to keep their accounts open and their hate to remain online, even when human moderators are notified.”

The government’s forthcoming Online Safety Bill would place a legal duty of care on social media companies to protect users from harm, including misinformation, abuse and hatred. However, it is unlikely to become law until the end of next year.

The CCDH’s worst findings related to conspiracy theories. Overall, the platforms failed to act on 89 per cent of antisemitic conspiracies and just 5 per cent of posts blaming Jewish people for the Covid-19 pandemic were addressed.

In cases when users were found to have directly abused Jewish people online, platforms intervened in only one in 20 cases. Posts relating to violence or considered neo-Nazi were the most likely to be removed, with about 30 per cent taken down.

The 714 posts across the platforms were collectively viewed at least 7.3 million times. Facebook groups with antisemitic titles, dedicated to producing racist content, had 37,000 members.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said the findings showed social media companies were failing “not just their Jewish users, but all Jews, online or offline”.

She said: “Antisemitism, whether in the form of targeted abuse, conspiracy theories, or Holocaust denial and revisionism, is being allowed to spread almost entirely unchecked.

“The proliferation of online antisemitism, alongside other forms of online racism and hate, is one of the most serious societal challenges of our time. Failure to halt it will look at best like apathy and at worst like complicity.”

A spokesman for Facebook, which also owns Instagram, said: “These reports do not account for the fact that we have taken action on 15 times the amount of hate speech since 2017, the prevalence of hate speech is decreasing on our platform and, of the hate speech we remove, 97 per cent was found before someone reported it.”

A Twitter spokesman said: “We strongly condemn antisemitism. We’re working to make Twitter a safer place, and improving the speed and scale of our rule enforcement is a top priority. We recognise that there’s more to do.”

TikTok said in a statement that it condemns antisemitism and proactively removes accounts and content that violate its policies. YouTube said it had “made significant progress” in removing hate speech over the past few years.

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Social media giants fail to curb 90% of antisemitism

Source : Business Matters More   

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Half of Britons cut back on socialising to avoid pingdemic

Nearly half of Britons are reducing social contact in a sign that the “pingdemic” is having a significant effect on behaviour. Read more: Half of Britons cut back on socialising to avoid pingdemic

Half of Britons cut back on socialising to avoid pingdemic

Nearly half of Britons are reducing social contact in a sign that the “pingdemic” is having a significant effect on behaviour.

Some 46 per cent of those surveyed by YouGov for The Times said that they had reduced contact with others to avoid being “pinged” by the NHS Covid app and having to self-isolate, compared with 39 per cent who said they had not.

The findings suggest that government policy, while enormously disruptive, is having the desired effect. Until August 16, even those who are double-vaccinated are told to stay at home after contact with a positive case.

The vast majority of those surveyed, on July 29 and 30, suggested they were sticking to rules and advice, with 10 per cent saying they had deleted the app from their phones and 13 per cent saying they had switched off its contact tracing function. Seven per cent said they had avoided getting a coronavirus test to avoid being told to isolate.

From August 16, anyone who is double-jabbed will no longer have to isolate after meeting someone who has tested positive, although they will be advised to take daily rapid tests to ensure they do not have the virus.

Ministers have come under pressure to bring that date forward amid warnings that self-isolation was causing a shortage of critical workers. The latest figures show nearly 700,000 people were pinged by the app in a week.

A government spokeswoman said: “The self-isolation rules are doing exactly what they are designed to do — minimising the contacts of people who have been exposed to Covid-19, so we can protect the population while we continue to roll out the vaccine.

“By sticking to the rules, the public are playing a vital role in reducing the spread of the virus and preventing cases from becoming outbreaks. This enables the NHS to vaccinate as many people as possible ahead of August 16th, and we continue to encourage everyone to come forward to get their jab.”

Despite the proportion of people who said they had reduced contact with others, only 16 per cent said they had cancelled plans.

Asked about the present coronavirus situation in the UK, 63 per cent said they thought things were improving but that the pandemic was not yet over. Eighteen per cent thought the pandemic was “just as bad as it has been for a while” and 8 per cent said it was “largely over.”

A separate report said that more than 1.1 million jobs were unfilled amid a shortage of workers caused by the “pingdemic”. Vacancies have topped one million for almost three months, according to research by Adzuna, a recruitment website.

There are almost 31,000 retail vacancies, up by 14 per cent in a month, 10,000 in supermarkets, 77,000 in hospitality and catering, 90,000 in trade and construction, and 84,000 in logistics and warehousing, it said.

Andrew Hunter of Adzuna said: “The pingdemic has hit just as businesses start to get to grips with filling open roles. The struggle to hire is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses, with hundreds of thousands of workers still on furlough, hesitation among others to go back to work, fewer overseas workers available to fill positions, and a lack of skilled staff in some sectors.”

The government announced yesterday that more than 85 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in the UK. More than 88 per cent of adults have received one dose and over 72 per cent have had two.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, described it as “a phenomenal achievement” and thanked the NHS, armed forces officials and volunteers for their “tireless efforts” in getting the country to this point.

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Half of Britons cut back on socialising to avoid pingdemic

Source : Business Matters More   

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