Between 2019 and 2020, more than two million Twitter posts regarding Jews or Israel were anti-Semitic, according to a study from the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (ISCA) at Indiana University.
In 2019, 849,253 tweets—6.9 percent of all conversations about Jews on Twitter—were anti-Semitic. That proportion rose in 2020 to 10.7 percent, meaning 1,531,912 anti-Semitic tweets were posted, 4,197 per day or one every 20 seconds, in conversations that include the word “Jews.”
ISCA said the content was mostly related to conspiracy theories about Jewish world domination, the Middle East conflict and the Holocaust
“We need to do more research to identify the sources of anti-Semitic propaganda. Some of it comes from neo-Nazi groups, anti-Zionist organizations and Iranian-sponsored activities,” the institute said.
Denying the Jewish people a right to self-determination was also a common theme found by ISCA in anti-Semitic Twitter conversations about Jews and Israel. The words “Palestinian” and “apartheid” were often in the Twitter conversations.
ISCA said instances of such content increased from 2019 to 2020 “despite claims from Twitter that they were cracking down on anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.”
“Social media has become the largest medium for anti-Semitic narratives, which can radicalize individuals and lead to violence, and push Jews out of these spaces,” the researchers explained in the report. “We plan to continue increasing the size of the dataset and the variety of content within it so that it can serve as a gold standard for automated detection of anti-Semitic tweets … The results contribute to our understanding of online hate speech against Jews.”