Kanye West’s antisemitic tweet nearly doubled follower growth -study

Jews are seemingly caught in a proverbial “Catch-22,” with acts to deplatform antisemites merging groups into those against purported Jewish “control” and “displacement.”

 US rapper Kanye West (C), attends the Givenchy Spring-Summer 2023 fashion show during the Paris Womenswear Fashion Week, in Paris, on October 2, 2022.  (photo credit: JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)
US rapper Kanye West (C), attends the Givenchy Spring-Summer 2023 fashion show during the Paris Womenswear Fashion Week, in Paris, on October 2, 2022.
(photo credit: JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

The rate of growth of US rapper Kanye West’s follower count on Twitter nearly doubled after his threat last month to go “death con 3” on Jews, according to a new analysis conducted by the National Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) in partnership with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM).

The study looked at what it called the “Antisemitism Attention Economy” and found that recent controversial social media posts by West, also known as “Ye,” and NBA basketball star Kyrie Irving metastasized populist Jew-hatred across the ideological spectrum, from white supremacists to Black Hebrew Israelites.

Jewish online catch-22

As a result, Jews are seemingly caught in a proverbial “Catch-22,” with acts to deplatform antisemites carrying marginal gains while extremist fringe communities merge into a shared conspiracy support group against purported Jewish “control” and “displacement.”

"This episode is sadly indicative of what Jews face in a world of increasing antisemitism online,” said CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa. “Firstly, rather than those involved in antisemitism [being] shunned, their popularity frequently increases, and they are made a martyr when they are called out on spreading lies and hatred.

"Those involved in combating antisemitism need to study these trends and ensure that hate does not receive an echo chamber,” he said, “and that there should be a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism, much like there is to other hatreds, because any justification or dithering on Jew-hatred simply allows the perpetrators to be thought of as victims, and the victims as perpetrators.”

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, Oct 29, 2022 (credit: WENDELL CRUZ-USA TODAY SPORTS/VIA REUTERS)Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, Oct 29, 2022 (credit: WENDELL CRUZ-USA TODAY SPORTS/VIA REUTERS)

Kanye West's return to Twitter

West's profile was reactivated on Monday morning and his first tweet was the Hebrew word “Shalom” with a smiley. Many Jews and Israelis have responded to this tweet such as Yair Netanyahu, son of presumptive incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and even Israel’s official Twitter handle.