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'Jews killed Jesus' is trending on X, as antisemitism explodes on social media

(Image: CyberWell)

Ancient antisemitic tropes and other antisemitic content have surged on social media since the brutal Hamas attack against Israel on Oct. 7, according to social media watchdog CyberWell, which monitors antisemitism and hate speech on social media platforms.

Posts claiming that "Jews killed Jesus" increased by more than 1,000% on the X platform, formerly Twitter, in the first week after the Oct. 7 massacre and before Israel had even begun its operations against Hamas in Gaza. The reach of posts containing the phrase “Jews killed Jesus” in the days after the attack, known by Israelis as the 'Black Shabbat,' climbed from 2.8 billion views before Oct. 7 to 4.2 billion views between Oct. 7 and Oct. 24.

Other antisemitic content also surged with the hashtag #HitlerWasRight, for example, increasing by 1,600% following Israel’s response to the massacre, with a reach of 25 million views on X alone. In the two weeks before Oct. 7, the hashtag had been viewed about 300,000 times.

Between Oct. 7 and Oct. 31, CyberWell’s artificial intelligence technology uncovered a rise of more than 86% in content deemed “highly probable” to be antisemitic, with nearly 13,000 such posts detected, compared to less than 7,000 between Sept. 11 and Oct. 6.

In addition, calls for violence against Jews and Israelis increased exponentially from single-digit percentages during the month before the war, to a stunning 61% of all Arabic discourse monitored by CyberWell beginning on Oct. 7.

Facebook saw the highest increase in antisemitic content, with a 193% rise in the number of posts defined as highly probable to be antisemitic. On X, the number of such posts increased by 81%. Nevertheless, antisemitic content on X was still much higher compared to Facebook, with 9,849 posts during the period covered by the report, compared to 1,091 on Facebook.

According to CyberWell, the surge in antisemitism on social media is a result of the successful “hijacking” of the platforms by Hamas.

“Social media companies are complicit in the spreading of anti-Jewish hatred, incitement, and the glorification of violence that led to physical assault, harassment, and violence against Jews (and Muslims) around the world,” the CyberWell report stated, adding that social media platforms must “take responsibility” for such content.

“The companies must take responsibility for hosting such content due to the severity of the consequences resulting from the distribution of these materials via their platforms,” the report concluded.

CyberWall CEO Tal-Or Cohen Montemayor said the rise in antisemitic content is unprecedented.

“The massive increase in antisemitic content and calls for violence against Israelis and Jews worldwide after October 7 is an unprecedented event,” Montemayor said.

She is concerned that social media companies seem to have no strategy in place to combat the rise in antisemitism.

“What is particularly worrisome is that so far we haven't heard a clear and organized plan from social media companies on how they intend to protect Israeli and Jewish users from the same inciting and violent content,” Montemayor said.

“Will social media platforms continue to be a psychological tool easily exploited by Hamas, anti-Israelis, and antisemites? What resources and new technologies will social media companies invest in to ensure that psychological terror doesn’t continue to haunt and even incite violent incidents against Jews worldwide?” she added.

Montemayor argued that the failure to address the deluge of antisemitism on social media will continue to pose an ongoing threat to the safety of Jewish communities, potentially resulting in an even bigger rise in violence against them.

Montemayor contends that the failure to address the deluge of anti-Semitism on social media poses an ongoing threat to the safety of Jewish communities, potentially intensifying the levels of violence against them.

“Social media platforms should be among the first to answer the public’s worries at this time. If we continue to be indifferent to their role in shaping awareness and being used as an engine to fuel violence, global antisemitism, and hate crime against Israelis and Jews, these violent incidents will continue to become more prevalent,” she said.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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