The ADL Report

Published: 2018-05-10

Washington, D.C., May 7, 2018 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has issued a report entitled "Quantifying Hate" which purports to be an analysis of anti-Semitic speech on Twitter.  The ADL also  claims the report provides the first-ever “snapshot of the trends and themes of anti-Semitism” on the social-media platform over the course of a one-year period.

Using “proprietary research strategies,” i.e. computer searches, to evaluate Twitter postings, the ADL’s Center on Extremism claims to have found “at least 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets” sent from an estimated three million Twitter handles. However, the ADL used flawed methods and expansive definitions which distorted the results. In addition, the samples of posts presented seriously misrepresent typical posts. In short, the ADL Report is little more than dishonest propaganda designed to encourage censorship of the Internet and scare up donations.

The report admitted that,

The query for this study was designed to be broad enough to return all results that could conceivably be anti-Semitic.” A tiny fraction of posts (150 of 500 million tweets per day) were subjected to manual analysis for the “presence of anti-Semitic sentiment or the dissemination of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” This open-ended analysis was further skewed by the ADL's new expanded the definition of “Anti Semitic.” Now classified as "anti-Semitic" are Holocaust revisionism, criticism of the State of Israel, anti-Semitic slurs, positive references to anti-Semitic figures, “coded words and symbols such as the triple parentheses,” and even the claim that "many modern Jews are descendants of the Khazars." 

Favorable to Hitler?

The ADL noted that there were spikes in anti-Semitic tweets that occurred around major news events, such as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s comment that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons (denounced as "Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable”)

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The collection of Tweets was then searched for the few most-offensive, obnoxious, and clearly anti-Semitic pictures or posts. These cherry-picked items were then highlighted as examples of all the total collection of Tweets.

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The final conclusion of the ADL? “This new data shows that even with the steps Twitter has taken to remove hate speech and to deal with those accounts disseminating it, users are still spreading a shocking amount of anti-Semitism and using Twitter as a megaphone to harass and intimidate Jews,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We hope this report will create a renewed sense of urgency among all social-media providers that this problem is not going away and that they need to find innovative new ways to tamp down the spread of hatred online.”

Extreme examples used by ADL


Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): David Merlin
Title: The ADL Report
Published: 2018-05-10
First posted on CODOH: May 10, 2018, 5:18 p.m.
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