Anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial rise 30%

Online Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism increased 30% since 2016, report says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Anti-Semitism in Europe (illustrative)
Anti-Semitism in Europe (illustrative)

The use of anti-Semitic symbols and posts on social media denying the Holocaust have increased 30%, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) reported.

The study, commissioned by WJC in collaboration with Vigo Social Intelligence and titled "Anti-Semitic Symbols and Holocaust Denial in Social Media Posts: January 2018," showed a dramatic increase in the number of incidents in 2018 compared with the same period in 2016.

The study is a follow-up to an initial study released in 2016. It was intended to cover the period between January 1-24, which "holds significant importance leading up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 and coinciding with the World Jewish Congress’ 2018 We Remember campaign," the organization said.

Key findings of the report indicate that 30 percent more posts using anti-Semitic symbols were recorded during this time frame, along with twice the number of conversations denying the Holocaust.

Between January 1-24, 550 social media posts each day, and 23 per hour, contained neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic symbols. An average of 108 posts each day, or 4.5 per hour, denied the Holocaust, and 13,200 posts during the period included symbols or signs related to the Holocaust or Hitler's Nazi regime.

An additional 2,600 posts denied the Holocaust occurred, or claimed Jews exaggerated the Holocaust's scope and the number of victims.

The use of neo-Nazi symbols decreased in Germany, but increased in Poland, Switzerland, and Serbia, ranking those nations among the study's ten worst offenders.

WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said, "It is easy to believe that anti-Semitism online is reserved for fringe elements, but the true scale of the problem is frightening."

"Today, nobody has to go looking for such hatred - it is in plain sight on the world’s most heavily used sites: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It is incumbent upon these companies to show moral corporate responsibility and abide by their own guidelines restricting hate speech. We urge governments to strictly regulate this issue to curb its proliferation, and make the digital world a safer space for all.

"The WJC has found that when we bring instances of hate speech to the attention of the major social media companies, their response is swift and effective. But we cannot accept the argument that it is up to the user to police such content.

"It is the responsibility of the companies to regularly monitor hate speech, educate users and ensure they understand the repercussions of violations, and call anti-Semitism explicitly by its name, without fear of criticism or rebuke."