August 13, 2021

Antisemitism on social media networks during 'Guardian of the Walls' military operation, May 2021

During the month of May 2021, FOA’s volunteers monitored 692 antisemitic posts (including texts, videos, pictures, etc.) across four social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube). As of mid-June, 252 of these posts were removed by the social media outlets (about 36%). This is over three times the average annual removal rate of 2020 (about 12%).

The higher removal rate of reported content may be attributed to the type of content posted (more ‘hardcore’ antisemitism), but also to increased monitoring efforts of FOA volunteers.

Conclusions:
  • Whereas antisemitic content appears on social media regularly, data originated in an automated monitoring tool points to a significant increase in the volume, popularity, and spread of antisemitic hashtags on Twitter during and after the Guardian of the Walls military operation, compared to the beginning of May. A similar trend is likely to exist across social media platforms.
  • A higher volume of antisemitic content, manually monitored by FOA’s volunteers during Guardian of the Walls, was associated with a significantly higher removal rate of such content, relative to the annual removal rate of 2021 (36% vs. 12%).
  • Active and continuous monitoring is key to combating antisemitism on social media. A critical mass of volunteers, manually reporting antisemitic content across social media is needed to effectively combat this phenomenon.

Source: FOA