September 06, 2021

CST report: instagram - bad influence

The Antisemitism Policy Trust and Community Security Trust (CST) publish a new report revealing the supply of antisemitic chaos to users of Instagram. The research, conducted by Woolf Institute explores the relationship between antisemitism and conspiracy theories on the platform.

Main Findings
  • Antisemitism on Instagram is significantly associated with a trolling phenomenon on the platform. Trolling of this type is chaotic in nature and often characterised by an incoherent mix of images and phrases. Some content is explicitly and coherently antisemitic, some links to related themes (such as conspiracy theories) and some uses antisemitic phrases alongside other offensive but seemingly random images and phrases. It is antisemitic chaos.
  • People exposed to antisemitism on Instagram are not necessarily searching for it. This is a case of antisemitic supply rather than demand. Antisemitic Instagram hashtags, alongside hashtags with demonstrable links to antisemitism, were viewed tens of thousands of times during our seven-week research period. Worryingly, the hashtags also generated thousands of likes.
  • Similarly, antisemitism on Instagram has a strong association with anti-Israel attitudes. This builds on previous research that has provided evidence of a strong link between anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes in real-world settings.