ADL plans Silicon Valley center to fight cyberhate

Source: USA Today

Thousands have flooded into Austin, Texas to experience the 31st Annual South by Southwest Convention and Festivals. Check out some of the sights and sounds from the first day. Jarrad Henderson, USA TODAY

AUSTIN — The Anti-Defamation League is opening a Silicon Valley center to combat the rapid growth in online hate speech.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt made the announcement during a panel on “The State of Hate” at the SXSW tech confab Sunday night.

The center on cyberhate, technology and society will leverage technology and experts to “monitor, analyze and mitigate hate speech and harassment” across the Internet. The facility, which should open somewhere south of San Francisco  in the next three to six months, received seed funding through eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s philanthropic investment firm, Omidyar Network. The ADL would not disclose the amount, but Greenblatt said it was in “six figures.”

“Since the (presidential) election, we’ve seen a surge online” in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other hate speech,” Greenblatt told USA TODAY. “It’s like nothing we’ve seen before. Millions and millions of anti-Semitic tweets.”

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