More than a third of social media posts about Jews are antisemitic, according to Swedish study

Almost 35 percent of online posts about Jews contain antisemitism or hostility towards Jews, according to a new study by the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI).

Most prevalent are notions of ‘Jewish power’ and the role of Jews as a secret driving force behind many major political events, whilst a relatively large proportion of the stereotypes examined are related to age-old myths demonising Jews, portraying them as threatening and dangerous and therefore justifying violence against Jews.

The study relied on a database of approximately 2.5 million posts about Jews or Judaism on the digital platforms 4chan/ pol /, Gab, Reddit and Twitter over a six-month period in 2019. The study shows that almost 25 percent of the posts examined contained antisemitic stereotypes, and another 9 percent did not explicitly include a stereotype but still expressed hostility towards Jews.

“Stereotypes about Jews’ power and dishonesty are the most prevalent. These stereotypes can be seen in several of the conspiracy theories circulating on the internet and in social media”, said Katie Cohen, researcher at FOI.

“Considering how violent the consequences of demonizing stereotypes can be, it is important to pay attention to the existence of these” added Lisa Kaati, researcher at FOI.

This study is part of the framework for research and analysis on antisemitism in digital environments allocated to the FOI by the Swedish government.

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