Exposing Online Incitement Against Pro-Democracy Protestors

2 August 2023

An investigation by NIF grantee FakeReporter reveals that an increasing number of social media accounts are spreading incitement and hatred against anti-judicial coup demonstrators. 

Despite a new Israel Police special unit dedicated to investigating and removing incitement and hatred on social media, hateful speech has only continued to grow. The police’s new unit has handled only 122 cases of incitement to violence and 120 cases of incitement to terror, a tiny percentage of what actually exists online. However, the proliferation of social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok, and others makes it very difficult to track incitement to terror and violence.

FakeReporter CEO Achiya Schatz spoke to  Walla! News: “Throughout the years, both on the right and on the left, there has never been such violent discourse as the discourse currently coming from the direction of the Likud [party] and its supporters. There is little violent discourse that comes from the liberal side of the country, but we do see an increase there and an increase in the discourse of hatred towards the ultra-Orthodox… but still the two communities cannot be compared.”

Commenters’ language ranges from calling for violence to celebrating violent acts others have committed.  Schatz said, “Typical comments in recent days have been, ‘If the police don’t then we’ll mow them down’ in support of a driver who rammed into demonstrators’.”

FakeReporter will continue its intensive efforts to raise awareness of the damage social media incitement causes and to have such posts removed.