Alissa Black
Director, Investments

Why We Invested : Anti-Defamation League

Society is facing some of the most serious challenges to inclusivity we have witnessed in recent years. In the month following the US election, over 1,000 hate crimes were reported, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center[1]. The intimidation continues: since January there have been 160 bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions[2]. These incidents are often precipitated by online hatred and intimidation, targeted at groups based on race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. This global trend is, in part, being driven by the misappropriation of online platforms and communities to spread hate speech.

In response to this growing issue, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is launching a new Silicon Valley center aimed at tackling this rising wave of intolerance and to collaborate more closely with technology companies to promote democracy and social justice. Omidyar Network is proud to provide critical seed capital to help launch the center.

As one of the world’s leading civil rights organizations fighting anti-Semitism and hate, ADL is well-placed to confront this issue. ADL has been a leader in fighting cyberhate for over three decades, and in the past few years, the organization has recognized the importance of modernizing civil rights engagement, expanding hate crimes expertise to online arenas, and encouraging Silicon Valley to use technology to promote democracy and social justice.

With the support of this grant, the ADL will continue its long-time commitment to addressing formidable challenges to our democracy and society created in part by the abuse of the Internet and social media. The center will advance ADL’s mission of fighting anti-Semitism and hate, reinforce its leadership against cyberhate, and protect freedom of speech and democratic rights affected by emergent technologies.

ADL’s work against hate is unmatched and the launch of the center in Silicon Valley will enable them to further collaborate with the technology industry to tackle these problems.


 
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