Antisemitism has been rife throughout most of modern human history. From the crusades, to the days of the Black Death to the horrors of World War 2, antisemitic behaviour has yet to be stomped out.
For antisemites, online anonymity has caused a new wave of antisemitism through the use of social media. While social media companies are terrible at removing most forms of abuse, a new study has proven that they're particularly bad at taking down antisemitic posts.
Facebook, Twitter and more ignore antisemitism
A new report from the Center to Counter Digital Hate has revealed that most social media platforms ignore antisemitic posts instead of removing them. In the report, it's revealed that five major platforms keep up 84% of antisemitic posts that are reported.
Across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Tiktok, the CCDH analysed 714 antisemitic posts. These posts were reported as hateful content through each platform's official tools, yet 84% of them were not acted upon. In the six-month period in which the study took place, the posts had been viewed 7.3 million times.
The report states that Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok even displayed antisemitic hashtags. The hashtags “#fakejews”, “#killthejews” and #synagogueofsatan were among them. On Tiktok, the control antisemitism posts had 25.1 million views, but the CCDH noticed even more hateful content. Additionally, Jewish creators had hordes of anti-jewish comments; Tiktok removed 5% of accounts that send these comments.
Worryingly, Facebook has created a label to point out antisemitic content instead of removing it. One viral holocaust denial post with over 246,000 interactions was simply tagged as misinformation. Furthermore, public and private Facebook groups were also still kept up after being reported.
A worrying trend
In an interview with NPR, CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed explained that social media antisemitism is incredibly dangerous. With so platforms being “unwilling" to tackle the hateful content, it's continuing to grow.
"The study of antisemitism has taught us a lot of things ... if you allow it space to grow, it will metastasize. It is a phenomenally resilient cancer in our society. There is a reflexive interaction between online and offline racism, they reinforce each other. "The online spaces then have an effect on offline spaces because these people have worsened. The failure of these companies is a cost that's paid in lives."
CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed to NPR.