Research Lab "Social Media & Hate"
Online hate speech has increasingly been the focus of public debate. Since the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 and the public outcry following the killing of one counter-protestor, major platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter have suspended a portion of accounts violating their updated terms of service. More systematic suspensions and deletions of accounts came after the 2019 attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand where the terrorist killed 51 people and live-streamed the killings. Another push came after the violent riots on Capitol Hill in January 2021. These efforts to remove hateful content have been imperfect and they have raised concerns about freedom of expression. It has become evident that better mechanisms, improved algorithms, and more transparency needs to be put in place to deal with harmful content on social media.
Our research has focused on recognition of antisemitic speech and other forms of bigotry on social media. We have worked mainly with data from Twitter, but we are increasingly including data from other platforms.
We have developed an annotation portal to label datasets of social media posts (tweets). Please feel free to test it out.
In Fall 2022, the Institute began a cooperation with Indiana University’s Observatory on Social Media (OSoMe). This development will allow us to observe online antisemitism even better than before, and we enthusiastically look forward to this partnership and the continuing advancement of our research.