The Anti-Defamation League has created a position dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry on the internet.
The hiring of Brittan Heller, a lawyer who has prosecuted cyber crime at the US Department of Justice and the International Criminal Court in The Hague, follows the ADL’s formation of a task force earlier this year to combat online harassment of Jewish journalists.
Heller will be the group’s first director of technology and society, the ADL announced Monday.
From her base in Northern California’s Silicon Valley, Heller will work to reduce hateful rhetoric on the internet in collaboration with technology companies and law enforcement.
Heller, a graduate of Yale Law School, has herself been a victim of cyber harassment. In 2009, she and a fellow Yale alumna settled a high-profile lawsuit against a group of online commenters who posted sexually explicit comments about them on an internet forum.
“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,” ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt said of Heller’s position in a statement.
The ADL had created the task force to deal with anti-Semitic and racist harassment of journalists on social media platforms.
This election season has seen a number of high-profile cases of Jewish journalists being harassed by supporters of Donald Trump, notably in May, when reporter Julia Ioffe was flooded with anti-Semitic death threats after she wrote a critical profile of the Republican nominee’s wife, Melania.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.