Tech non-profit raises alarm on social media trend denying Oct. 7 rapes by Hamas

Tech non-profit raises alarm on social media trend denying Oct. 7 rapes by Hamas

CyberWell, an innovative tech nonprofit focused on monitoring for and combatting the spread of antisemitism on social media said that a recently verified analysis of more than 135 posts reaching over 15,387,162 users, denied that Hamas perpetuated sexual violence and rape, and reinforced rape culture across all major social media platforms.

The group warned in the report that social media platform moderators have not done enough to remove posts surrounding the systematic use of sexual violence and rape as a weapon to torture, terrorize, and humiliate women and girls by Hamas and its allies on October 7.

“Social media platforms must be a safe space for women – all women – and not promulgate voices that deny the experiences of victims of sexual assault and applaud their abusers – in this case Hamas terrorists,” said CyberWell Founder and Executive Director Tal-Or Cohen Montemayor. “Platforms must equally enforce their existing hate speech and sexual violence policies, recognize denial of October 7 sexual assault as prohibitive content, and remove these posts at scale.”

“Despite Hamas terrorists documenting their atrocities and livestreaming and uploading videos and photos onto social media platforms, extremists on social media quickly began denying the very fact of the sexual assault – narratives that gained traction and continue to be spread online today,” she added.

CyberWell noted six narrative trends surrounding the denials including:

·       No rape survivor has personally recounted her experience, therefore there was no sexual assault.

·       Survivors of the terrorist attack and first responders testifying to acts of sexual violence that they witnessed or identified are lying, and news outlets that report on this issue are spreading fake news.

·       Israel is falsely accusing Hamas of rape for its own gain – to justify invading Gaza and to demonize the Palestinian resistance.

·       Hamas members are driven by religious Muslim ideology, they would not rape a woman.

·       Hamas didn’t rape civilians; Israelis raped their own people.

Of the 135 posts that CyberWell’s AI technology flagged and were verified by human analysts to specifically deny sexual violence on Oct. 7, over 49 percent were posted on X, more than 27 percent were posted on Facebook, just over 13 percent were on TikTok, six percent on Instagram, and just under four percent were posted to YouTube. Two-thirds of the posts were in English, and the others were posted in Arabic. Moderators for each of the platforms did respond by removing just over 24 percent of flagged posts on Facebook, a 20 percent removal rate on YouTube, TikTok removed 12.5 percent and X labeled four percent of the posts under the platform’s “limited visibility” flag and removed one and a half percent of posts.

CyberWell uses AI technology to monitor for posts in English and Arabic that violate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which the organization’s analysts then report to platform moderators alongside the community standards and hate speech policies the post violates. When posts meet antisemitic guidelines that fall outside of established policies, CyberWell releases contextualized guidance to social media companies so that they can better moderate the content on their platforms.

CyberWell’s report can be found at this link.

CyberWell is an international technology non-profit combatting online antisemitism by monitoring, reporting and holding social media platforms accountable for hate speech promulgated through their websites and apps. CyberWell’s AI technology monitors for posts, currently in English and Arabic, that are consistent with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which the organization then reports to moderators alongside the platform-prescribed policies it violates. By understanding and leveraging how social media companies operate, CyberWell has achieved incredible success rates in removing Jew-hatred at scale, sparking policy guidance for content moderators and updating social media policy to account for all forms of antisemitism.

CyberWell indexes all verified posts in the first-ever open database of antisemitic social media posts – democratically cataloging it for transparency. Through partnerships, education, and real-time alerts, CyberWell is influencing social media platforms to take proactive steps against online Jew-hate. For more information, visit:

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