Antisemitism in Social Media – Conspiracies, Stereotypes, and Holocaust Denial

Authors:

  • Lisa Kaati
  • Katie Asplund Cohen
  • Björn Pelzer

Publish date: 2021-10-09

Report number: FOI-R--5198--SE

Pages: 51

Written in: English

Keywords:

  • antisemitism
  • social media
  • Holcaust denial
  • stereotypes

Abstract

In this report, we have studied different facets of antisemitism on non-password protected social media outlets with user-generated content. Our results show that antisemitic content exists on all social media platforms. However, the amount of antisemitic content seems to vary with the degree of moderation on each platform. Since 2017, discussions about the ZOG conspiracy narrative have increased, while the Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to new antisemitic conspiracy theories. Conspiracy narratives are closely related to antisemitic stereotypes, which were found in 25% of posts mentioning Jews or Jewishness. The most common stereotypes being that Jews are powerful, deceptive, and manipulative. In our study, almost 35% of all posts mentioning Jews or Jewishness expressed negativity toward Jews. These posts were found mainly on minimally moderated platforms. Jews are also one of the groups that are targeted by toxic language online. Over 4,000 occurrences of explicit Holocaust denial terminology were found during a three-month period. National legislation is difficult to apply to the global internet. A joint effort by governments and platform companies is important to develop techniques that keeps antisemitic content from the internet, while education is necessary to prevent antisemitism before it goes online.