In Battle Against Online anti-Semitism, ADL Goes on the Offensive

Jewish U.S. organization hires its first director of technology to confront 'burgeoning issue of cyberhate' and sets up base in Silicon Valley.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
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The Anti-Defamation League has added a staffer dedicated solely to battling online anti-Semitism, placing her in Silicon Valley to work with high tech companies and law enforcement.

It named Brittan Heller, a 2015 Truman National Security Fellow, as its first director of technology and society.

“As the use of social media and technology to marginalize Jews and other communities increases, Brittan’s new role is at the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.

"She has incredible experience on these issues, and will help us expand our work with technology companies, scholars and advocates to convene and discuss new and better ways to attack online hate, and to share best practices with the input of affected communities."

Greenblatt added, "She will also engage startups and others in industry to explore partnerships that can enhance existing areas of strength, including our experience in addressing hate and harassment online; countering violent extremism; exploring issues of diversity and prejudice in specific environments such as workplace or campus; and leveraging technology for social justice.”

The ADL announced on its website that Heller's has "investigated and prosecuted cyber-crime and human rights violations at the U.S. Department of Justice and the International Criminal Court in The Hague," calling her "an expert in cyber harassment and hate speech."

“From its first report on these cyberhate more than 30 years ago to this year’s work tracking the harassment of journalists on social media, ADL has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring our online communities are a safe and just place for all,” said Heller.