(Washington, D.C., Sept. 14, 2020)--B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
Today B’nai B’rith International along with major Jewish organizations working with the EU institutions, launched a unified position on tackling anti-Semitism online, in response to the Digital Services Act consultation by the European Commission. Joining us as partner organizations are the American Jewish Committee Transatlantic Institute, B’nai B’rith Europe, CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, the European Jewish Congress, the European Union of Jewish Students and the World Jewish Congress.
As the European Union looks to redefine its approach to digital governance under the motto A Europe fit for the Digital Age, maintaining a safe online space, free of hate and incitement must be a key priority – one that both our Washington, D.C. headquarters and our office of EU Affairs have been strong advocates for.
The unified position offers 10 recommendations for the future legislation to effectively tackle anti-Semitic content online and demand higher accountability from online platforms and service providers.
Among the demands formulated are the push for platforms to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism as part of community standards, data collection and analysis to better understand the spread of anti-Semitism online, platform transparency with regard to algorithms, support for civil society actors to be effective parts of the conversation and a call to disincentivize profit stemming from harmful content.
A 2018 Fundamental Rights Agency survey on Experiences and Perceptions of anti-Semitism among Jews in the EU found that 89% of respondents consider anti-Semitism expressed online as a problem and 80% of those experiencing anti-Semitic abuse have encountered it online. These worrying statistics have only been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created an environment ripe with disinformation and conspiracies.
A revised EU digital framework must tackle head-on the role and responsibility of online platforms and must guarantee users’ safety.
See the full text of the common position here: deleteantisemitism.org .
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit bnaibrith.org.