The Rise in Antisemitism and Islamophobia Online and How to Combat it at Work

In our 2022 State of Misconduct at Work research, we identified over 10% of candidates were engaged in misconduct – over 2x the safe levels for organizations. One of the top three types of misconduct found in the research was intolerance. Of the hundreds of thousands of candidates screened last year, 19% of those were flagged because of intolerance. 

Intolerance is exclusionary behavior, slurs, stereotypes, or hate speech, including racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and more. It’s harmful to the workplace, and can lead to “disputes, violence, harassment, mental harm, absenteeism, loss of productivity, turnover, and much more.” It’s no surprise that companies want to combat this toxic and costly behavior.

Unfortunately, intolerance has been on the rise – specifically religious intolerance against those who practice Judaism and Islam. The FBI’s 2022 Hate Crime Statistics Report found crimes against Jews increased by 37% in 2022. More recently, data collected by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism showed that the online message forum, 4chan, saw a 479% increase in the use of explicit antisemitic and anti-Muslim slurs and increases in calls to kill both groups between October 6 and October 8 alone. In the two weeks between October 7 and 23rd, the number of antisemetic incidents increased by 400% in comparison to the same period last year.

As an online screening solution combating workplace misconduct, Fama is closely monitoring these increases in intolerance and violence. Beyond monitoring, here is some information about and resources on these scary trends as well as some information to help combat antisemitism and islamophobia: 

In addition to being costly for organizations and simply immoral, combating these violent forms of religious discrimination serves several other key business purposes, as well. The National Law Review’s article EEOC Issues Long-Awaited Guidance on Harassment in the Modern Workplace breaks down the fact that the EEOC may now be holding “employers liable for harassment occurring online, even if only over employees’ private social media accounts.” This means that employers can get into additional trouble from a compliance perspective if they don’t take enough steps to prevent employees and workers from sharing this harmful content online. 

Finally, if your workers are engaging in online intolerance and harassment, it’s likely derailing your company’s critical performance metrics (and even your return to office plans) leading into 2024. HR Morning expects “employers will prioritize areas such as creativity, empathy, transparent communication, and collaboration as they address workplace toxicity and once again, create workplaces where employees genuinely want to return to. This is one of the most important trends that organizations should focus on in 2024, as it will set the stage for a safe, healthy workplace for 2024 and the years ahead.”

Here at Fama, we are heartbroken to see continuous headlines of increased intolerance, harassment, and violence online. We encourage all Fama clients and anyone reading this to take a look at the resources in this article, sharing content through a lens of empathy and not intolerance and violence, and doing your part to shut down any intolerance or violence you see being shared.