7amleh – the Arab Center for Advancement of Social Media released on Tuesday, 18 January 2022, the findings of the “Index of Racism and Incitement on Israeli Social Media in 2021”, which indicated an increase in hate speech by 8% since 2020, monitored 620,000 conversations including violence and inciting speech against Arabs, and recorded an increase by 46,000 posts including violence speech, compared with 574,000 in 2020.
The 2021 index showed an increase in incitement by 3 times since 2020. Violence speech against Palestinians, Arabs and their representatives further intensified, constituting 11% of overall speech online – an unprecedented rate since 2017. The peak of violent speech was recorded in March 2021, during Israeli elections, and April-May, during the May Uprising and Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. Twitter was reported as the most utilised tool to share hate speech and incitement, with 58% of violent speech hosted on the platform. Facebook on the other hand hosted around 19%.
Nadim Nashif, Director of 7amleh, commented about the index: “Social media platforms in the May Uprising reflected what was happening on the ground, as hate speech notably increased during the uprising. Social media was also used as a tool to organise violent and inciting attacks against Palestinians and Arabs, with its impact exceeding the digital realm into the real world.”
The Racism and Incitement Index on Israeli Social Media Networks is an annual report released by 7amleh, that monitors the overlap in the use of racist and violent expressions against Arabs and Palestinians during the year.