Delay livestreams on social media to block massacre broadcasts - Wiesenthal Center

The report suggests to delay live streams to block massacre broadcasts.

A collection of online hate graphics found by the Simon Wiesenthal Center   (photo credit: SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER)
A collection of online hate graphics found by the Simon Wiesenthal Center
Social media giants should incorporate a delay in live streaming of events so that terrorists’ attempts to use their services to broadcast mass massacres in real-time can be caught and blocked, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said late Tuesday night.
“Yesterday was the second anniversary of the Christ Church Massacre – 50 Muslims were murdered at Christ Church in New Zealand – those murders were broadcast live,” said Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper. “There was the attempt on Yom Kippur in Germany, elsewhere, and in San Diego – part of the game plan of those extremists was to have the opportunity to broadcast live anything that they do,” he said.
Cooper said they have been “begging Facebook and others to have a delay in broadcasts.”
His remarks coincided with the center’s release of its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and online study, which evaluates social media platforms’ policies on online hatred.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns have exacerbated this year’s outcomes, with people spending more time on social media,” the report said. “Over the past year, there has been an explosion of hate and lurid conspiracies proliferating across social media channels – led by Telegram – vilifying and threatening Jews, Asian Americans, African Americans, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and other minority groups.
“While some social media giants took unprecedented steps to curb misinformation and hate speech in the past year, too often those efforts have been strikingly selective, politically tainted, and grossly insufficient in addressing real-time hate and bigotry.”
Cooper, who has spearheaded the digital terrorism and hate project for nearly three decades, said it was “worrisome to see us moving in the wrong direction at this juncture in history. Social media giants, who for decades moved slowly and incrementally against online hate, suddenly entered the political arena, impacting on elections and Covid-related health issues.
“We call on the ‘Big Five’ social media giants to refocus on degrading the marketing capabilities of bigots, antisemites and terrorists – foreign and domestic.”
Cooper said there was a highly problematic double standard in how and when social media gatekeepers were intervening.
“If you suspend Donald Trump’s account, do the same for Iran’s godfather of terrorism and genocide-threatening Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. If you remove postings about COVID-19 that you deem dangerous, remove Louis Farrakhan’s canard urging African-Americans to not get vaccinated.”
He likewise slammed social media for allowing the Chinese Foreign Ministry to broadcast the message that it is not mistreating or committing any broad crimes against the Uighur sect in Xinjiang.
According to the report, the “Big Five” – Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube/Google – all received a B- in policing hateful and potentially terrorist content. The combined audience of those platforms could amount to almost six billion users.
Other major platforms like Telegram and Parler received a D- and a D, respectively.
The worst grades went to the networking sites AnonUp, Gab, and 8Kun, as well as the video platform Brighteon, all of which received an F.
While Cooper surveyed a wide variety of digital hate trends, he especially focused on anti-vaxxer, antisemitism and anti-Asian trends.
Part of what concerned Cooper was that the attack on the Capitol in Washington on January 6 “did not happen in a vacuum. The rhetoric that led up to it, the drum beat on social media…created that environment, pushed those themes. What happened on January 6 basically was frankly predictable and could have been stopped.”
Cooper noted that there had been a “significant drop in Islamist terrorist activity on social media, but that it is expected to pick up again now that ISIS is finding traction in many places in Africa.”
The report also detailed a variety of graphics that groups in many countries are using to tie Jews explicitly or subliminally to some kind of conspiracy theory.