Anti-Semitism on social media rocketing

Anti-Semitism has skyrocketed on social media, mirroring the experiences of many Jewish communities particularly in Europe. The latest data was released by the Shem Olam Institute and social media monitoring and analysis company Buzzilla.

Anti-Semitism on social media has reached new heights, according to a Shem Olam Institute study released Tuesday.
Anti-Semitism on social media has reached new heights, according to a Shem Olam Institute study.

The study revealed that anti-Semitism online was four times higher after September 2015, when the recent spate of terror attacks began in Israel, than it was before Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

“From October 2015 to March 2016 there was a significant increase in the average number of conversations showing anti-Semitic expressions,” the report said. “For the purpose of the present research, anti-Semitism is defined as any deliberate verbal attack towards Jews and the Jewish people (including its history).”

According to the report, half of online anti-Semitic comments include rhetoric such as “Hitler was right.” At the same time, 22% include comments such as “I hate the Jews”; 11%, contain statements like”Burn the Jews” and “I hate the Jewish people”; and 6% contain epithets such as “Bloody Jews.” The study found that the Facebook pages with the most anti-Semitic comments are the pro-Hamas Middle East Monitor, with 710,000 followers, followed by Americans Against Genocide in Gaza, Images of Palestine, Israel Lies and Deceits, and the International Solidarity Movement.

The most anti-Semitic posts were of a video, stemming from the Facebook page of Al Jazeera, purportedly showing the IDF bombing a school in Gaza and a video allegedly showing Israeli police threatening to murder Palestinians. The first video garnered 1.2 million views, 33,000 shares, hundreds of comments, and 20,000 likes. The second video topped it with 1.8 million views, 34,000 shares, and almost 2,000 comments.

In a statement, Shem Olam chairman Rabbi Avraham Krieger described the anti-Semitism on social networks as a “red flag” that reflected the hatred of Jews harbored by many individuals around the world.

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