A group of researchers in Sweden have published a report showing that 30 percent of comments and posts about Jews on social media included antisemitic rhetoric and tropes.
The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) analysed postings specifically about Jews across four different social media platforms over a six month period in 2019 and came to its conclusion after reviewing approximately 2.5 million posts about Jews or Judaism on the digital sites 4chan/pol, Gab, Reddit and Twitter.
The research is a contribution in the Swedish-government funded project to investigate increasing antisemitism online.
A study of the researchers’ results showed almost 25 percent of the social media posts contained popular antisemitic stereotypes, with a further nine percent containing no explicit stereotype but expressing an active hatred towards Jews and the Jewish community.
A researcher at FOI stated that the most common stereotypes, centring on Jewish world domination, could be seen “in several of the conspiracy theories circulating on the internet and in social media pages.” The majority of these were found on the networking pages of Gab and 4chan/pol. It is suspected that limited regulation and policy on hate speech in the United States, where most major platforms are based, contributes to increasing antisemitism on social media, as these sites provide total user anonymity.
According to the report, users who are suspended from Twitter turn to Gab as an alternative platform on which to spread antisemitic propaganda and messages.
Following the publication of the research, Sweden’s Jewish Central Council has demanded that internet giants now seek swiftly to remove all discriminatory content from their platforms in the fight against antisemitism.
Recently, Campaign Against Antisemitism reported on concerns over the antisemitism in Sweden, in Malmö in particular.