Report shows increasing number of racists, homophobic messages calling for violence on social media

CHICAGO (WLS) — When you’re scanning through social media, hatred can often be just a swipe away.

A new report finds an increasing number of racist and homophobic messages calling for violence.

The group that released that report thinks social media companies are not doing enough.

“When it comes to hatred, they are just running rampant on many of these platforms. That has to stop,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, with Simon Wiesenthal Center.

It’s a critical message for many of the most popular social media sites after a new report released Friday found that some of these companies are failing to control hateful content.

The 2023 Digital Terrorism and Hate Report Card, published by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and discussed during a news conference with Cook County United Against Hate, found that companies like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Telegram and others are not doing enough to stop the spread of these hateful messages.

The report warns of increased anti-Semitic, racist, anti-LGBTQ+ messaging and calls for violence against Black, immigrants and Jewish residents.

“I don’t think anybody is interested in promoting hate, but they are doing woefully too little to push back against hate,” Rabbi Cooper said.

In the report, Google and YouTube received a “B-,” Facebook and Instagram received a “C,” TikTok got a “D,” Twitter a “D-” and Telegram an “F.”

And, for the very first time, Amazon was added to the report card, receiving a “C.”

“It’s better to call it out to make sure we all understand that we reject this, to show solidarity to those who are marginalized and targeted,” said Cook County Commission Scott Britton, 14th District.

Briton said he himself, just last year, found hateful literature spread in his neighborhood and said parents need to be closely monitoring what their children are exposed to.

“They have to think about whether they want to have their kids on these platforms, they have to monitor gaming, and all these other things because that’s what these groups, these white supremacist groups are using to get into our communities,” Briton said.

Britton also said if you find any sort of hateful speech or messaging to call police and report it to law enforcement.

ABC7 also reached out to many of the companies mentioned in the report, but have not heard back.

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