Digital spaces are reflections of lived reality; the spread of hate speech, racism, and incitement online is an extension of the escalations and attacks that happen outside the digital realm. The year 2022 witnessed a significant increase in the volume of violent speech directed at the Arab and Palestinian communities, as violent speech increased by 10% compared to 2021 and the number of violent publications published through networks in the Hebrew language reached 685 thousand conversations, compared to 620 thousand violent publications during the year 2021.
The peak of racist discourse during the year 2022 was during March, April, and May due to the escalation of political events, while May was the most digitally violent month in the wake of the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh.
Despite the escalation in the spread of violent discourse published in Hebrew on the Internet in general, Twitter remained the most popular platform for violent speech, with 51% of all violent discourse, while the percentage of violent discourse on the Facebook platform reached 20%.
In terms of the spreading of violent speech on social networks in all of its forms, similarly to the previous year, Twitter remained the most popular platform for violent speech, scoring 51% of all violent discourse, and Facebook accounted for 20% of violent speech. Moreover, the percentage of violent speech in comments on Internet articles has increased over the past years to reach 26% of all violent discourse.
In this context, 7amleh indicates the need for social media companies to take decisive measures to prevent the spread of incitement, racism and violence against Arabs and Palestinians through various platforms. This type of content leads to an escalation of attacks against Arabs and Palestinians on the ground. Accordingly, 7amleh reaffirms its previous recommendations to social media companies on the need to develop a dictionary of hate speech in the Hebrew language and use it to monitor this type of content, and the need to enforce content management policies as required on Israeli content in the Hebrew language to limit and prevent the increase of attacks in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The Index of Racism and Incitement in Israeli social networks is an annual report published by 7amleh Center that monitors the intersection of racist and violent labels and words against Arabs and Palestinian throughout the year.