Antisemitism on social media decreases, but still rampant

Despite the worryingly high rate of exposure to antisemitic sentiment, the poll figures actually represent a decrease in such incidents.

May 22, 2018 19:53
1 minute read.
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Social media apps Twitter and Facebook [Illustrative]. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Sixty-eight percent of Israelis aged 15-18 have experienced antisemitism on social media networks, and that antisemitism is most prevalent on Facebook, a poll by the Anti-Defamation League has found.

The survey, conducted by the Geocartography Institute in March, reported that 58% of those polled experienced antisemitism on Facebook, 46% experienced it on YouTube, 43% on Instagram, 26% on Twitter and 17% on WhatsApp.

Facebook remained the worst social media platform for antisemitism, despite a notable decrease from a similar poll conducted by the ADL in 2016 in which 76% of those polled said they had experienced antisemitism on Facebook.

Close to 25% of those polled said they observed antisemitism on Twitter or Facebook statuses at least once a month, while more than 50% said that antisemitism on Facebook was greater than on any other social media network.

Despite the worrying findings, the figures represent a decrease in such incidents, with a similar poll for ADL conducted in January 2016 showing that 84% of Israeli youth had experienced antisemitism on social media.

Exposure to antisemitic caricatures, pictures and symbols also marginally decreased from the previous poll, with 71% of those polled saying they had seen such content, compared to 75% in 2016 and 80% in 2014.

“There’s encouraging news here since teens are reporting less exposure to antisemitism compared to previous polls,” said Carole Nuriel, the director of ADL’s Israel office. “We are especially encouraged to see declines in reported exposure among teens to antisemitic content on Facebook. Nevertheless, many Israeli teens are still coming across a great deal of antisemitic hatred on social networks. There’s clearly still much work to be done by social networks to monitor, block and remove antisemitic content.”

The poll’s margin of error was 4.4%.

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