Rights group demands action from social media against anti-Palestinian hate speech

HAIFA: The Palestinian Digital Rights Coalition has sent letters to Meta, X, Telegram, and TikTok regarding the proliferation of hate speech, dehumanization, and incitement to violence and genocide against the Palestinian people on their platforms.

On 26 January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered provisional measures in the case of South Africa v. Israel, determining the plausibility that Israel is carrying out genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The Palestinian coalition said it documented use of online platforms to incite genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, including by the highest levels of the Israeli leadership.

The coalition’s letter addresses the specific connection between hate speech, incitement to violence, and genocidal remarks online. Among other issues, the letter specifically calls attention to the ICJ’s reference to UN Bodies expressing concern over ‘discernibly genocidal and dehumanizing rhetoric coming from senior Israeli government officials, as well as
some professional groups and public figures.’

Many of these statements made by senior Israeli officials have been posted on social media platforms, and companies continue to disseminate this type of harmful content on their platforms.

“The failure to effectively address hate speech and incitement not only undermines the safety and well-being of the Palestinian people but also violates a company’s obligations under international law and human rights principles,” said the coalition.

“As Palestinians in Gaza attempt to survive, the coalition felt it urgently important to remind social media companies of their legal and moral obligation to prioritize the protection of human rights and to take immediate and concrete steps to address and prevent the spread of harmful content, including hate speech and incitement.”

Source: Palestine news and Information Agency – WAFA