One warning: A new report from the anti-racism advocacy group Hope, not Hatred, warns that conspiracy theories about the new coronavirus are helping to spread anti-Semitism beliefs to a wider audience. According to the report, the pandemic has not only rekindled interest in the “New World Order” conspiracy theories of secret Jewish elites that are aimed at ruling the world, but also far-right activists are also working to transform people’s anti-blockade and anti-vaccine beliefs. Transform into active anti-Semitism.
The most serious offender: The authors easily found anti-Semitism on all nine platforms they investigated, including TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Some of them use coding languages to avoid algorithmic detection and auditing, but most of them are public and easy to discover. Unsurprisingly, the author found a close connection between the amount of anti-Semitism on the platform and the degree of mitigation: the looser the mitigation, the greater the problem.
Some details: The report warned that the messaging app Telegram has quickly become one of the most serious criminals. It hosts many channels that spread anti-Semitism content, some of which have tens of thousands of members. A channel that promotes the conspiracy theory of the New World Order has gained 90,000 fans since its establishment in February 2021. However, this is a problem on every platform. Jewish creators on TikTok complain that they face a lot of anti-Semitism on the platform, and they are often targeted by groups who report their accounts on a large scale to temporarily ban them.
case study: The author points out that a person who became radical during a pandemic is a typical example of how people will eventually be forced to accept increasingly extreme views. At the beginning of 2020, Attila Hildmann was a successful vegetarian chef in Germany, but in just one year, he changed from not caring about politics on the surface to just asking some questions. Social media influencers go to their own telegram channel for spouting hatred and inciting violence.
What can be done: Many of the platforms investigated have had more than a decade to regulate and mitigate hate speech, and some progress has been made. However, the report warns that although major platforms are doing better at eliminating anti-Semitic organizations, they are still working to eliminate personally produced anti-Semitic content.