“Online and Offline Antisemitism. What are the trends? What does the data tell us?”
2021 was the highest year on record for documented reports of violence, harassment, and vandalism directed toward Jews — and the 2022 numbers are likely to show the same or even an increase. That’s according to the Anti-Defamation League.
And this is an ongoing trend. For the past five years there has been a growing number of anti-Semitic incidents, including the 2018 attack on the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 Jewish worshippers. But, also thousands of incidents of vandalism of Jewish schools and community centers and the distribution of anti-Semitic flyers, including here in Southwest Florida.
Much, if not most, of these incidents begin in the virtual world, where hate speech often flows freely, even on large social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It’s especially prevalent on smaller social media sites which generally provide no moderation or censorship whatsoever.
Our guest today has spent much of his academic career focusing on antisemitism — both the why and the how, especially online.
Dr. Günther Jikeli holds the Erna B. Rosenfeld Professorship at Indiana University's Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, and he is an associate professor in Germanic Studies and Jewish Studies at Indiana University. He runs the research lab "Social Media & Hate" which focuses on online and offline forms of contemporary antisemitism, and works to develop ways to identify antisemitism and hate speech online.
He stopped by the studio while he was on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus to give a presentation called “Online and Offline Antisemitism. What are the trends? What does the data tell us?”
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