Campaign Against Antisemitism has been alerted to an antisemitic caricature within Apple’s iMessage app. Searching for an animation (known as an animated GIF) to accompany a message, one of our supporters, Mordy Jackson, searched for “Take my money”, only to be presented with an antisemitic caricature of a hook-nosed Jew wiping his posterior with a banknote. The caricature is an adaptation of a cartoon character from the popular children’s series, SpongeBob SquarePants.
Upon investigation, we discovered that the animated GIF is shown high up for a wide range of searches relating to money, presumably meaning that it is a popular selection. The animated GIF service in Apple’s iMessage app is actually provided by a little-known company called Tenor which also powers animated GIF searches on Google’s Android operating system. Tenor’s 250 million monthly users conduct eight billion searches for animated GIFs every month.
We have reported the animated GIF in question to both Apple and Tenor. The incident is yet another example of how technology, especially social media, has enabled the mass circulation of antisemitic propaganda. Earlier this week, Facebook was caught providing advertising services to advertisers seeking to find an audience of antisemites.