Australia is well behind other countries in its efforts to tackle the threat of online racism including antisemitism, a new report has found.
The just released report, which analysed examples posted on the internet between November 2022 and June 2023, was produced by the Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI) in partnership with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).
Social media has “created an unprecedented potential for people with violent, extremist and hateful views to project their prejudices and emotions to a global audience and to organise into groups”, ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim said.
“Australia has not been immune to these trends.”
Of the examples analysed in the report, 40 per cent fell into the category of “traditional antisemitism”, 38 per cent were classified as “Holocaust related content”, while “Israel related” material and posts “inciting violence” were 11 per cent each.
At 33 per cent, Twitter was the largest contributor to online antisemitism, more so than “alt-tech” platforms including Gab, BitChute and Telegram.
The report said TikTok had the best removal rate for flagged items at 15 per cent, YouTube removed four per cent, Instagram 13 per cent, Telegram 12 per cent, Twitter 14 per cent and Facebook 12 per cent. Reddit did not remove any reported items.
“A stronger response is needed, including legislative reform, resourcing for government and civil society efforts to address online hate, and a strong and visible political commitment to action,” the report said.
“The Australian government … should engage more deeply with IHRA, Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism and other international efforts to address antisemitism, particularly online antisemitism.”