Battling Anti-Israel Hate with AI Bots

Israel’s battle against misinformation and hate is overwhelming on most days.

During a war, it goes on overdrive.

By last measure, online anti-Semitism has spiked by a massive 1200% since October 7th

When faced with a river of hate from legions of enemy countries and sympathizers, Israel’s Hasbara (positive PR) efforts are chronically understaffed, under-funded and under-equipped.

We’re used to relying on the IDF spokesperson, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a smattering of PR networks in America to counter a monstrous and well-funded propaganda and misinformation engine in Iran, Gaza, Russia and other state-sponsored centers of Jew hate.

Since October 7th, there are certainly more Israelis and Jews than ever constantly posting, reposting, commenting, debating and otherwise engaging online to combat anti-Semitic and anti-Israel lies from the usual suspects.

The online war is looking marginally better, but we’re still starting far behind our enemies.

Enter Zachary Bamberger, an American oleh, Cornell graduate and current Masters student at CS Taub.

When he saw what was happening on October 7th, he sprang into action.

Using his prodigious talents in machine learning and love for debate, to fight the immediate onslaught of anti-Israel lies and anti-Semitism.

Instead of reflexively jumping onto Facebook or other social media to fight from the keyboard, he started building.

In only a few days, he enlisted the help of 40 Ph.D.s in his field to completely change the battlefield for social media disinformation.

Imagine AI being able to instantly check whether a post violates the terms of service (TOS) of the specific platform where it’s made.

Imagine the ability to report said post on the spot.

And if it doesn’t violate the TOS, to instantly generate the best counterargument?

Imagine instantly translating (with high quality) posts in Arabic and reporting them if anti-Israel and against the TOS.

And just as importantly, what if non-Hebrew speakers could instantly translate all the posts by Israelis and understand what’s really happening here?

These are no longer aspirational, but an actual suite of tools launched by Zack’s company.

Covering APIs, AI-driven translators and other tools based on their proprietary large language model, it is already collaborating with some of the best-known experts in the field, including at AI21 Labs, Google, and Microsoft.

What Zach and his team have created in 10 days is no less than an army of robots to massively increase the impact of pro-Israel efforts on social media.

When deployed on a larger scale, this will most certainly shift the balance of content in the right direction and take away the advantage of numbers from our online enemies.

We are proud to have Zach in the Technion family and wish him and his team tremendous success.

Have an awesome student or faculty or staff story to share with us about how they’re (or you are) helping the war effort or on the home front?

We want to feature you!

Email our English PR Manager, Yuri Kruman.