The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), whose chief has baselessly smeared Breitbart News with claims of anti-Semitic associations, has announced plans to build a Silicon Valley command center aimed at combating online hate.
The ADL reportedly received a six-figure seed donation from the Omidyar Network to help finance the center.
The Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, also funds the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. IFCN has partnered with Facebook to help determine whether certain stories should be flagged as “disputed.”
Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations, as well as by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy.
The ADL announced its new center via a press release:
ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt announced Sunday that ADL has secured seed funding from Omidyar Network to build a state-of-the-art command center in Silicon Valley to combat the growing threat posed by hate online. The center will employ the best technology and seasoned experts to monitor, track, analyze and mitigate hate speech and harassment across the Internet, in support of the Jewish community and other minority groups.
ADL’s center on cyberhate, technology, and society will pioneer new strategies in the fight against online abuse, drawing from ADL’s three decades of expertise monitoring, tracking, and combating hate on the public and private web. It will author reports and data; provide insights to government and policy makers; and expose and stop specific cases of online harassment and cyberbullying.
According to the release, the ADL will work with tech sector leaders to look into high-tech options for reducing “online harassment,” including “artificial intelligence, big data, augmented/virtual reality, and other technologies.”
“Now more than ever, as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other hatreds have exploded online, it’s critical that we are bringing best-in-class technology and resources to this fight. That’s why we will build this center in Silicon Valley, and why we are so grateful to Omidyar Network for providing seed funding for this effort,” Greenblatt stated.
“This is a natural extension of the cyber-hate work ADL has been doing for decades and builds on the new presence we established last year in the Valley to collaborate even closer on the threat with the tech industry,” Greenblatt added.
In November, the ADL released a statement announcing that the organization “strongly opposes” the appointment of former Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon as White House Chief Strategist for the Trump administration.
Greenblatt — formerly an aide to President Barack Obama — claimed Bannon is “a man who presided over the premier website of the Alt Right, a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists.”
Greenblatt’s statement is entirely false. Breitbart News is not “the premier website of the Alt Right” and has no associations with the so-called alt-right.
Indeed, Greenblatt appeared to back off the “premier website” claim during a brief interview in November by Breitbart News’ Adelle Nazarian, while still claiming Breitbart was a “platform” for the alt-right.
Following publicity over Greenblatt’s claims about Breitbart and Bannon, the ADL issued a press release conceding, “We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.”
That statement appeared at the bottom of a larger ADL piece titled “Stephen Bannon: Five Things to Know.” The piece also claimed that under Bannon, Breitbart News “published inflammatory pieces about women, Muslims, and other groups.”
The Omidyar Network funding the ADL’s online command center, meanwhile, has partnered with Soros’s Open Society on numerous projects and has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.
The Omidyar-funded IFCN recently drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept, and Facebook announced it will work with “third-party fact checking organizations” that are signatories to the code of principles.
Facebook says that if the “fact checking organizations” determine that a certain story is fake, it will get flagged as disputed and, according to the Facebook announcement, “there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
With research by Joshua Klein.