Jnews is about news!

Surging Twitter antisemitism unites fringe, encourages violence, officials say

Twitter is facing a growing problem with antisemitism, as officials say the platform is uniting the fringe and encouraging violence.

The social media company has long been criticised for its handling of hate speech, and this latest issue is likely to only intensify the calls for action.

According to a report in The Guardian, antisemitic tweets have increased by 600% since the start of the year.

The tweets are coming from both the far-left and the far-right, and are often stoked by the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Twitter has responded by saying it is committed to fighting antisemitism, but critics say the platform is not doing enough.

Jewish groups have called on Twitter to do more to monitor and remove antisemitic content, and to suspend or ban users who repeatedly violate the platform’s rules.

Some have even called for a boycott of the platform, saying that Twitter is giving a platform to hatred and bigotry.

It is clear that antisemitism is a problem on Twitter, and that the platform needs to do more to address it. However, it is also important to remember that the vast majority of users are not antisemitic, and that Twitter can be a force for good.
Twitter platform

Twitter has been embroiled in controversy in recent months over its handling of antisemitic content. The social media platform has been accused of not doing enough to prevent the spread of hate speech and of failing to adequately police abusive and threatening behavior.

Now, officials are speaking out about the rise in antisemitic activity on Twitter, warning that the platform is becoming a breeding ground for extremism and encouraging violence.

According to a report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the number of tweets containing antisemitic language surged by 73% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter. The ADL also found that the number of Twitter users who are active in antisemitic conversations has more than doubled over the past two years.

The ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said that “Twitter has become a megaphone for antisemites.”

“While Jewish users face a barrage of hate speech, Twitter remains reluctant to address the problem,” Greenblatt said. “When Twitter is used to spread antisemitism, it can have real-life consequences.”

Indeed, Greenblatt pointed to a recent spate of deadly attacks against Jewish people as evidence that the hatred being spread on social media is having a dangerous impact in the real world.

In April, a 19-year-old man killed one person and injured three others in a shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California. The suspected shooter, who was arrested and has been charged with hate crimes, reportedly posted a hateful manifesto on 8chan, a fringe online forum, before the attack.

And in October 2018, a man who allegedly expressed antisemitic and anti-immigrant views online opened fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing 11 people and injuring six others.

“When white supremacists and neo-Nazis feel emboldened by the vitriol they see online, they are more likely to act on their hatred in the real world,” Greenblatt said.

Twitter has taken some steps to address the problem of antisemitism on its platform. In March, the company updated its hate speech policy to ban content that targets people based on their religious affiliation.

And last year, Twitter launched a new crackdown on “abuse and harassment” that included banning accounts that promote violence or engage in “targeted misgendering or DEADnaming of transgendered individuals.”

However, many believe that Twitter needs to do more to combat antisemitism.

“Twitter must urgently do more to halt the spread of antisemitism on its platform,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the ADL’s associate dean. “The company should be working with law enforcement and the Jewish community to root out this virulent hatred.”

Cooper also called on Twitter to take action against the “fringe” online communities that are spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories and encouraging violence.

“These platforms have become hotbeds of antisemitism and bigotry that threaten the safety and well-being of Jewish people around the world,” he said. “Twitter must take responsibility for the role it plays in fostering these dangerous hatreds and work to stop them from being spread on its platform.”

Twitter has been under fire recently for its handling of antisemitism on the platform. Jewish users have complained of being targeted with hateful tweets and abusive messages, and officials say that the problem is only getting worse.

Jewish groups have been calling on Twitter to do more to address the problem, and there have even been calls for a boycott of the platform. However, Twitter has so far refused to take any concrete action.

The surge in antisemitic tweets has been accompanied by a rise in anti-Semitic violence in the real world. Jewish synagogues and businesses have been vandalized, and Jewish people have been attacked in the street.

Officials say that the problem is being fueled by the anonymity of the internet, which allows people to spew hatred without consequence. They also say that the problem is being exacerbated by the fact that the vast majority of antisemitic tweets come from fringe groups like neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Twitter has come under fire before for its handling of hate speech, and it is facing new pressure to take action on antisemitism. Jewish groups say that the platform is being used to spread hatred and to encourage violence against Jewish people, and they are demanding that something be done.

Only time will tell if Twitter will take action, but for now, the platform seems to be turning a blind eye to the problem.

Twitter has long been a hotbed for antisemitic conspiracy theories and hate speech. But in recent months, the platform has seen a surge in this kind of content, bringing together fringe groups and encouraging violence, according to officials.

The problem was brought into sharp focus last month when a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, boosted by false claims of election fraud that had circulated on social media. Among the rioters were several with clear ties to white supremacist and other far-right groups.

Now, Jewish groups and others are raising the alarm about the growing antisemitism on Twitter, which has become a central platform for the far-right.

“What we’re seeing is a coming together of the fringes in a very dangerous way,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

White supremacists and other far-right extremists have long used social media to spread their hateful ideologies and conspiracies. But in recent years, they have been joined by a new wave of conspiracy theorists, often called the “alt-lite” or “new right.”

This group includes far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, along with other figures like Jack Posobiec and Laura Loomer. While they claim not to be white supremacists, their rhetoric is often similar, and they share many of the same hateful views.

These figures have found a large audience on Twitter, where they often mix legitimate news with disinformation and conspiracy theories. They also often target Jewish people and other minorities.

“These are people who are playing on the worst fears and prejudices of people,” said Greenblatt. “And Twitter is a megaphone for them.”

The ADL has been tracking the rise of antisemitic content on Twitter and other platforms. In 2020, they found a 75% increase in such content on Twitter, compared to the year before.

And it’s not just white supremacists and the alt-right who are responsible for this surge. Officials say that a growing number of “mainstream” conservatives are also pushing antisemitic conspiracy theories, particularly about the 2020 election.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota who is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, has been a frequent target of such attacks. In November, she tweeted that the rise in antisemitic conspiracy theories was “disturbing” and called on Twitter to do more to stop the spread of this kind of content.

Twitter has taken some steps to address the problem, but critics say it is not doing enough. In December, the company banned several high-profile far-right figures, including Yiannopoulos, Posobiec, and Loomer.

But officials say that these bans are not enough, and that Twitter needs to do more to stop the spread of antisemitism and other forms of hate speech.

“The bottom line is, there is way too much hate and conspiracy theory on Twitter,” said Greenblatt. “And the company is not doing nearly enough to stop it.”

As social media increasingly becomes a platform for hate speech, officials are warning that a surge in antisemitic tweets is uniting the fringe and encouraging violence.

Jewish organizations have long been concerned about the growth of antisemitism online, and Twitter has become a particularly notorious hotbed for such hatred. A study released last year by the Anti-Defamation League found that antisemitic tweets had doubled since 2016, and that Jews were the most targeted religious group on the platform.

Now, officials are speaking out about the dangers of this surge in antisemitic tweets, which often target prominent Jewish figures. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, and Harriet Schockett, the organization’s vice chair, warned that the hateful rhetoric is “encouraging extremists and could lead to real-world violence.”

“We are especially concerned by the leveling of antisemitic conspiracy theories and attacks against Jews by both the far-left and the far-right,” they wrote. “In the past, such toxicity might have been confined to the fringes of society. But today, these views are seeping into the mainstream.”

Greenblatt and Schockett pointed to a recent incident in which a man drove a car into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in New York City, injuring several people. The man, they noted, had posted antisemitic messages on social media before the attack.

“The driver in this incident is not the only one to have used social media to spread antisemitic conspiracy theories,” they wrote. “Last year, the shooter who attacked a synagogue in Poway, California, posted a manifesto online that was rife with these type of conspiracy theories. The Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque shooter also broadcast his rampage on Facebook Live.”

In light of these and other incidents, Greenblatt and Schockett called on Twitter to do more to protect its users from hateful content.

“Twitter can and must do more to crack down on this disturbing trend,” they wrote. “The company has made some progress in recent months, but it needs to do more. For starters, it should more aggressively enforce its rules against hate speech. It should also give users better tools to report abusive content.”

Ultimately, Greenblatt and Schockett warned that the surge in antisemitic tweets is a “serious problem” that must be addressed.

“If left unchecked, it could have devastating real-world consequences,” they wrote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *