Instagram has removed an account called the “Jew Hate Database” which was posting the full names, social media profiles, employers, and photos of people the account operators believe are antisemitic. In many cases, the Instagram account included videos of those people tearing down posters spread across cities that show victims kidnapped by Hamas on October 7. Instagram said it removed the account for violating Meta's policies on hate speech.
The removal highlights the constant tension social media companies find themselves in with the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. Hamas, for example, has used victims’ Facebook accounts to livestream further violence. Instagram’s auto-translation feature added the word “terrorist” to bios that had “Palestinian” in them. In this case, Instagram was used as a platform to unmask specific people that tore down posters of kidnapped Israelis, and that the account claimed were antisemitic.
In a typical post, Jew Hate Database included a screenshot or photo of the individual, banner text with “EXPOSED” across them, and then a caption providing the person’s name and other biographical information. “Meet [name], a [location] resident who gets triggered by posters of kidnapped Jewish children. She is the owner and founder of [business], a fashion brand, and [business],” one reads. The account also invited followers to tell it about other people the account should expose. Visitors can click a button to “Report Jew Hate” on the organization’s website.
The Jew Hate Database is run by David Kay, the founder of the David & Goliath project, and actor and co-founder Noa Lindberg.
“For us it’s essentially a mission to not only raise awareness but create real-life consequences for people who proudly espouse their Jewish hatred, both offline and online,” Kay said in a recent interview with i24NEWS.
“We’re saying enough. No more excuses. Your actions have consequences,” Lindberg added in the interview. Lindberg also mentioned targeting “people in positions of power” in the interview. The Jews Hate Database, however, appears to also target non-public figures.
On Monday, Instagram said it had removed the account for violating Instagram’s policies.
Instagram said the account itself violated Meta's policies on hate speech. Before it was removed Instagram had already issued multiple warnings against the account, according to screenshots posted by Jew Hate Database itself. One said “your post goes against our guidelines on bullying and harassment,” with the additional note “Your Account May Be Deleted.” The warning added “Some of your previous posts didn’t follow our Community Guidelines. If you learn and follow our guidelines, you can prevent your account from being deleted.” Another post was removed for allegedly violating Instagram’s guidelines on “dangerous individuals and organizations,” according to another screenshot. The Jew Hate Database also has a backup account on Instagram which is still active at the time of writing.
“Main account got suspended. Nothing will stop us! Will be using this for now. Please share!” a post on that account reads.
The behavior is somewhat similar to another unmasking account 404 Media covered in September. This account took publicly available videos of people online, and then used off-the-shelf facial recognition technology to find their real name, social media profiles, and employer information before putting it on blast to the delight, and horror, of its viewers. In that case, TikTok did not remove the account because it said the used information was publicly available.
The videos on Jew Hate Database do not include details on how the operators or others unmasked the individuals included. At the time of writing there does not appear to be an equivalent account on TikTok.