Combating antisemitism: New study shows rise in antisemitic online content during the pandemic

Today the Commission has published the findings of the study “The rise of Antisemitism online during the pandemic”, conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), which analyses online content in French and German. Comparing the first two months of 2020 with the first two of 2021, the findings show a seven-fold increase in antisemitic content on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram in French, and over a thirteen-fold increase in antisemitic content in German. Antisemitic content in French on Facebook was also liked, commented on and shared over half a million times between 1 January 2020 and 8 March 2021. Content in French received over three million retweets and likes on Twitter. Antisemitic content in German on Telegram was viewed over two billion times in the same period. The study also found a proliferation of ‘grey area’ content, which likely did not contravene legal thresholds around hate speech or Holocaust denial in France or Germany, but which nonetheless has the potential to be harmful. The study is published on the occasion of the 5th European Commission Working Group on Antisemitism, during which Vice-President Margaritis Schinas will deliver keynote remarks and have an open discussion with the participants. More information on the Commission’s work to combat antisemitism in the EU is available here.