Young people ‘stumbling across antisemitic conspiracy theories on TikTok and Instagram’

Young people are being exposed to antisemitic conspiracy theories and disinformation on TikTok and Instagram as major social media companies struggle to purge their platforms from hateful content, a new report has warned.

Anti-fascism advocacy group Hope Not Hate uncovered millions of hashtags related to the New World Order – a conspiracy theory concerned with a secretive totalitarian world government – and the Illuminati, many of which are strongly related to antisemitic narratives.

Overtly offensive hashtags such as #JewWorldOrder, #TheGoyimKnow and #ProtocolsofZion have been allowed to stay active on Instagram, while conspiracy theorist David Icke and author Michael Jones are also present on the platform despite having been suspended by most other major social networks.

Similarly on TikTok, content posted under the hashtags #rothschildfamily, #synagogueofsatan and #soros was viewed more than 25 million times in six months, while a clip of a cake being put in an oven accompanied by the narration: “In the oven… say hello to Anne Frank for me” was allowed to stay online despite being reported.

The majority of users on both platforms are young, with close to seven in 10 Instagram users aged between 13 and 34-years old and 69 per cent of TikTok users aged 16-24-years old.

“It’s simply astounding that despite 10 years of attempts to eradicate hate speech, we were able to find antisemitism on every social media platform we investigated,” said Joe Mulhall, head of research at Hope Not Hate.

“While social media companies have been struggling to get their act together, a new generation of social media users have been introduced to anti-Semitic ideas they would be unlikely to encounter elsewhere.”