A new generation of users of “younger” social media platforms such as TikTok are being introduced to anti-Semitic ideas that would be unlikely to be encountered elsewhere, according to a report.
The research comes amid warnings that those embroiled in conspiracy theories around Covid-19 risk adopting anti-Semitic views.
He revealed that Google searches the UK for the ‘New World Order’, a conspiracy theory rooted in anti-Semitic tropes, which suggests that a secret global elite is in control of world events, reached its highest level in 15 years in March of last year.
Analysis by the Hope Not Hate campaign group and other organizations also revealed the prevalence of anti-Semitic posts and memes on Instagram, where nearly 70% of global users are between 13 and 34, and TikTok, where 69% of users are between 16 and 24.
Millions of results on Instagram for hashtags related to the New World Order and The Illuminati were registered, the majority of which promoted conspiracy theories, while hashtags leading more directly to anti-Semitic content, such as #JewWorldOrder, continued to be active.
Joe Mulhall, Head of Research at Hope Not Hate, said: âThe reality is that a lack of action by technology platforms has not only introduced people to hate speech, but has now created spaces online where it is Antisemitism is allowed to flourish with tragic and lengthy effects. – lasting effects, leaving Jewish communities exposed to the risk of terrorism.
The research, titled Antisemitism in the Digital Age: Online Antisemitic Hate, Holocaust Denial, Conspiracy Ideologies and Terrorism in Europe, was compiled by Hope Not Hate alongside two other anti-racist groups, the Expo Foundation and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.
He warns that many of the stories, hashtags, memes, videos and anti-Semitic groups that emerged during the pandemic remain on some platforms and have often been “algorithmically amplified” as well.
“Social networks have therefore assumed the function of conveying anti-Semitic stereotypes to younger user groups,” he added.
Daniel Poohl, CEO of the Expo Foundation, said there were still basic things most of the platforms highlighted could do, such as explicitly banning anti-Semitism in their community guidelines and ensuring greater moderation. pages.
In other findings, a Reddit forum dedicated to conspiracy theories and showcasing anti-Semitic theories such as those portraying Jews as child murderers, reportedly grew by 500,000 users between February and November 2020.
On another platform favored by many militant groups and others, Telegram, a channel promoting New World Order conspiracy theory as well as Holocaust denial and white nationalist propaganda has grown by 90,000 subscribers since its inception in February. 2021.
The findings on anti-Semitism online come against the backdrop of growing concern over its impact on the streets and a number of lawsuits against far-right supporters on terrorism-related charges.
Britain’s Community Security Trust, which helps keep the Jewish community safe, said last month it recorded 1,308 incidents of anti-Jewish hate nationwide in the first half of this year, the highest total in the first half of each year.
“Every day we are contacted by Jews who tell us that they are being verbally assaulted on the streets, that someone has tried to beat them up or is reporting incidents like anti-Semitic graffiti,” added Dave Rich, who provided to the Guardian for details of some of the incidents reported this week.
Saturday: Two synagogues in London received offensive emails telling them to “return to Auschwitz”.
Tuesday: Two assaults in London of visibly Jewish people, both of whom were punched to the ground by various random passers-by.
Wednesday: A woman in London was walking her child home from school when a man cycled past and shouted, âHeil Hitler, you dirty Jew.
âThis is, unfortunately, fairly normal, and the week is not over yet,â he added.
A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said anti-Semitism was completely unacceptable and that it did not allow it anywhere on Instagram.
âWe have always suppressed attacks against people because of their religion, and last year we made important updates to our policies, to remove any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, as well as more implicit hate speech, such as harmful stereotypes that Jewish people control the world, âthey added.
âWe will continue to work with partners like Hope Not Hate, while developing new ways to remove hateful content and block harmful hashtags faster. “
A spokesperson for TikTok said the company condemns anti-Semitism and works aggressively to combat hate by proactively removing accounts and content that violate our policies.
âWe will continue to strengthen our tools to combat anti-Semitic content and we will welcome the opportunity to work with Hope Not Hate, as we are already doing with many others around the world, to understand changing trends and help us regularly assess and improve our enforcement policies and processes. . “
A spokesperson for Reddit said its policies prohibit any content that incites violence or promotes hatred based on identity or vulnerability, including anti-Semitic content.
She added, “We remain committed to removing anti-Semitic content from the Reddit platform and will continue to act on the content and the users who engage in such behavior.”