(May 17, 2018 / Israel Hayom) While Facebook is taking steps to rid its platform of racist and inciting content, Russian-language social-media sites are reportedly letting such material run rampant.
As such, it is being seen by hundreds of millions of people, according to a new report from the program Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism, a collaboration between the National Union of Israeli Students and the Foreign Ministry.
The report focuses on the two most popular Russian-language social-media sites: VKontakte, which is similar to Facebook and has at least 477 million registered users; and OK.ru (Odnoklassniki), which has some 200 million registered users.
These two platforms have published anti-Semitic cartoons with captions such as “It’s time to get rid of the Jews and shoot them,” “The Jews are against religion and linked to Satan,” as well as images such as a photo of a Holocaust memorial defaced with graffiti reading “Heil Hitler” and “Death to Jews.”
The head of the program, Tomer Aldobi, explained to Israel Hayom that technically, Russian-language sites officially have terms and conditions that prohibit users from posting anti-Semitic content, and allow users to report anti-Semitic and other hate content. However, he added “it’s very complicated to get content removed from Russian social-media sites, especially these past few years.”
Zionist Union Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova condemned the findings, saying: “Online anti-Semitism is rampant in the post-Soviet space. I am horrified at the [users’] crude words and the detachment from reality.”