The World Jewish Congress has announced that it found that more than 382,000 anti-Semitic posts were uploaded to social media over the course of 2016 – an average of one post every 83 seconds, 43.6 posts per hour, 1,046 each day.
The WJC survey, conducted by the Israeli monitoring firm Vigo Social Intelligence, also determined that 63% of the anti-Semitic content online can be found on Twitter.
The study did not count anti-Israeli messages.
“We knew that anti-Semitism online was on the rise, but the numbers revealed in this report give us concrete data as to how alarming the situation really is,” World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert R. Singer said, adding, “We hope this serves as a wake-up call to all internet forums to maintain moral standards, rid themselves of offensive content, and make the digital world a safer place for all.”
The WJC research analyzed tens of millions of posts in 20 languages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and blogs, as well as message boards. After Twitter, 16% of anti-Semitic posts online appear in blogs, 11% on Facebook, 6% on Instagram, and 2% on YouTube and message boards respectively.
The criteria used to determine whether a post is anti-Semitic was based on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism:
- Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
- Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
- Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
- Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
- Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
- Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
- Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
The corresponding posts were identified through a database of searchable word phrases and terms online, then translated into leading languages and scanned through the internet. A representative sample was read and codified by analysts to refine searches and deepen qualitative analysis. A total of 7,600 posts were read in different languages, indicating a representative sample of 2% of the total discourse included in the analysis.
The full report and a detailed analysis will be released on April 25, at the World Jewish Congress’ plenary assembly in New York.