INACH Statement

Hate Just Needs an Excuse

On 7 October, a coordinated horrific terrorist attack into Israel by Hamas sponsored forces killed over 1,200 Israeli civilians.

Israel responded as any country would to such an assault, leading to suffering and civilian casualties. These events have triggered an all too familiar cycle of turmoil, violence, hate and tragedy.

An international impact has been an enormous upsurge in online hate targeting Jewish people worldwide and any group openly supporting Israel. There has also been an increase in anti-Muslim hate online. In these cases, antagonists are using this opportunity to conflate members of ethnic, religious, racial, and social groups with players directly involved in the conflict.

However, individuals and groups determined to promote their own agendas are distorting facts, creating false information, fake images, and false expert personas by using bots, AI, and troll networks.

This storm of hate is being ignored, aided, and even encouraged by some social media platforms as observed, noted and recorded by various monitoring agencies within the INACH network where hate-based hashtags and threads are documented and readily visible. This is also true of news aggregators and internet service providers. It has been proven time and again that online hate and bias is directly linked to real-world acts of racism, violence, and terrorism. This is what INACH has been warning about repeatedly since it was founded more than 20 years ago.

INACH supports free speech, and protected speech, but firmly believes hate speech which puts innocent people at risk is not protected speech. The highest form of free speech is speaking out against hate, bias racism and the distortion of truth or facts.

INACH calls on all platforms and service providers to exercise the highest level of obligation to protect the public and at-risk communities from dangerous and irresponsible speech online.

INACH also calls on all governments to prosecute all online inflammatory speech or incitement to violence directed at any religious, ethnic, or social group in accordance with their laws.