Cleveland Jewish News: ADL launches new online database to track anti-Semitic incidents in America. “The Anti-Defamation League just launched an online searchable database that helps track anti-Semitic incidents against Jews that have taken place throughout the United States. The ‘ADL Tracker’ will be regularly updated to provide the most recent information available on cases of anti-Semitic vandalism, harassment and assaults reported to or detected by the ADL.”
The Local, Germany: New website shows how German industry used Auschwitz prisoners as slaves. “The site pulls together more than a decade of research on some 45 sub-camps or ‘kommandos’ located on the periphery of the most notorious site of the Nazi Holocaust. Based on first-hand accounts and research in the archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum and others, the site contains more than 3,500 photos, documents and maps. It tells the story of each sub-camp, including lists of the survivors and SS guards and information about their personal stories. The site also lists the industrial organisations implicated in exploiting prisoners at the camps.”
CNN: A fake Twitter account stirred tensions between Jews and African Americans. Trolls celebrated.. “Trolls on the online forum 4chan celebrated on New Year’s Day as a fake Twitter (TWTR) account seeking to stoke tensions between Jewish and black Americans amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in New York provoked outrage. Even as the trolls celebrated, the account went unchecked by Twitter for hours despite dozens of users saying they reported the account to the social media company.”
KYW News Radio: New website a ‘glossary’ of hate to expose anti-Semitism. “A new website from the American Jewish Committee is pointing out the language and anti-semitic tropes online and on social media that they say are leading to a rise in bigotry and violence.”
Arolsen Archives: Ten million more names published. “In the winter of 1945/46, the four occupying powers issued orders to German local authorities, companies, the police, and other institutions requiring them to draw up lists of the foreign nationals, German Jews and stateless persons who were registered with them. Details of burial sites were to be included. A large collection of the documents created in this way as well as other lists from the American Zone of Occupation can now be viewed in the online archive of the Arolsen Archives. They contain information pertaining to around ten million names.”
CNET: Shooting near German synagogue was livestreamed on Twitch. “A shooting Wednesday that killed two people outside a German synagogue during one of the most important Jewish holidays was livestreamed for 35 minutes on Twitch. The video has since been removed from the streaming platform, but it was uploaded to other video sites.”
Denver Post: “OK” hand gesture added to hate symbols database. “The ‘OK’ hand gesture, a mass killer’s bowl-style haircut and an anthropomorphic moon wearing sunglasses are among 36 new entries in a Jewish civil rights group’s online database of hate symbols used by white supremacists and other far-right extremists.”
New York Times: A Holocaust Story for the Social Media Generation. “The teenager’s Instagram posts start out breezily enough. Eva Heyman, who just got her first pair of heels for her 13th birthday, films herself eating ice cream in the park. There’s also a teenage crush. But everything rapidly turns dark. Eva’s Instagram account, based on a diary kept by the real Eva Heyman in 1944, will go live Wednesday afternoon for the start of Israel’s annual Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day.”
The Next Web: Hate speech is still too easy to find on social media. “Shortly after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, I noticed that the word ‘Jews’ was trending on Twitter. As a social media researcher and educator, I became concerned that the violence would spread online, as it has in the past. The alleged synagogue shooter’s activity on the Gab social media site has drawn attention to that site’s role as a hate-filled alternative to more mainstream options like Facebook and Twitter. Those are among the social media platforms that have promised to fight hate speech and online abuse on their sites.”
Boing Boing: Twitter “sorry” for “mistake” of posting “Kill All Jews” as a trend . “Everything Twitter has said or done about trolls, abuse, harassment, threats, Nazis or ‘the health of conversations’ treats it as someone else’s problem. To Twitter these are PR issues, and its solutions are oriented to media coverage. This is why nothing ever really changes, least of all its enthusiasm for product features that might accomplish more. “
New York Times: On Social Media, No Answers for Hate. “Over the last 10 years, Silicon Valley’s social media companies have expanded their reach and influence to the furthest corners of the world. But it has become glaringly apparent that the companies never quite understood the negative consequences of that influence nor what to do about it — and that they cannot put the genie back in the bottle.”
BuzzFeed News: The Conspiratorial Hate We See Online Is Increasingly Appearing In Real Life. “Connecting the online footprints to tragedies in the physical world also reveals an undeniable truth: that the dichotomy between an online world and ‘real life’ is (and has always been) a false one. The hatred, trolling, harassment, and conspiracy theorizing of the internet’s underbelly cannot be dismissed as empty, nihilistic performance. It may be a game, but it’s a game with consequences. And it’s spilling into the physical world with greater, more alarming frequency.”
Mashable: Twitter will publicly flag tweets that violate its terms of service. “There’s nothing like a little public pressure to get someone to clean up their act. Twitter announced a change on Wednesday that will make it clear when someone has posted a tweet that violates Twitter’s terms of service.” What concerns me about this is that some really disturbing things apparently don’t violate Twitter’s terms of service — like, oh, comparing Jewish people to termites.
Bellingcat: From Memes to Infowars: How 75 Fascist Activists Were “Red-Pilled”. “The vast majority of domestic terror attacks in the U.S. are carried out by white supremacist organizations. Atomwaffen, a neo-Nazi death squad with five killings to their name, is probably the deadliest fascist group to have arisen since 2016. One member of Atomwaffen, Vasillios Pistolis, was an active duty U.S. marine when he marched at the first Unite the Right rally. Pistolis also posted regularly on a series of fascist and white supremacist Discord servers, prior to and after joining Atomwaffen. The media collective Unicorn Riot has archived hundreds of thousands of posts from these Discord servers. Their database includes dozens of conversations where fascists discuss how they were converted to their extremist beliefs. In an effort to understand that process, Bellingcat collected ‘red-pilling’ stories from seventy-five fascist activists. The analysis is below, details on the activists we studied can be found here.” Disturbing content, to say the least.
The Verge: Bing and Yahoo are suggesting offensive searches. “Bing and Yahoo, which is powered by Bing, are both suggesting offensive content within their search features. How-To Geek spotted that Bing’s image search is serving up suggestions for related topics that contain racist terms, the sexualization of minors, and otherwise offensive content. The Verge then found that this problem extends to Yahoo: its homepage search box includes an autocomplete feature that populates racist phrases, and the results often prioritize the company’s Yahoo Answers posts that contain offensive material.” As you might imagine, the article contains / links to a lot of offensive content.