Fighting Online Antisemitism (FOA) report: Only 12% of antisemitic posts on social networks removed

Every 90 minutes during the past month (September 2021), antisemitic content was reported on social media, according to a survey conducted by Fighting Online Antisemitism (FOA). Dozens of FOA volunteers in Israel and worldwide monitored about 500 antisemitic items in September, a significant increase compared with previous months.

Many of the reported posts deal with conspiracy theories related to Jews and Coronavirus, blaming the Jews for spreading the pandemic and trying to take over the world through vaccines. Such conspiracy theories started to emerge with the outbreak of the pandemic.

They are still gaining popularity among antisemites, Nazis, and anti-vaxxers. Alongside these conspiracy theories, this month, conspiracy theories relating to 9/11 and anti-vaccines were also circulated on social media.

The phenomenon of vaccine opponents in Europe requires special attention. In the past year, opposition to Covid vaccines in Europe increased. As part of this protest, activists of the anti-vaccination movement compared the sanctions and negative treatment of covid nti-vaxxers nowadays and the sanctions and negative treatment of European Jews during World War II. Content posted by anti-vaxxers on social media includes references to the Holocaust, such as yellow badges, crematoria, images from the Holocaust, and other elements that distort the memory of the Holocaust and harm the survivors. It should be noted that, at times, such content is not directed against Jews but is targeting local governments (e.g., France).

Yet, images and symbols from the Holocaust are cynically used, desegregating the memory of Holocaust victims. Additionally, such content may encourage a wave of antisemitic reactions on the social network.

In September, roughly 500 antisemitic posts were monitored in various languages: about 75% in English, about 12% in Russian, about 10% in Spanish, and in French, Arabic, Chinese, Persian, Italian, and Portuguese. The content was monitored on five leading social media platforms: Twitter (about 250), Instagram (100), Facebook (70), VKontakte (45) and Tiktok (20). So far, 12% of the reported content was removed by the social media platforms.