ADL report finds surge in anti-Semitic tweets directed at Jewish members of Congress
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a new study Tuesday that found that anti-Semites are using Twitter to target hate material and misinformation at incumbent Jewish members of US Congress who are running for re-election.
The ADL’s Center for Technology and Society analyzed tens of thousands of tweets between July 23 and August 22 that were directed at the 30 incumbent Jewish members of the House and Senate and found 5,954 of them to be anti-Semitic or potentially so.
The study found 10% of those tweets to be “problematic” for containing anti-Semitic content, and within those there were four main types of issues: George Soros-related conspiracy theories; explicit anti-Semitic language; tropes related to Jewish power and control of media or finance; and tweets questioning the loyalty and faith of Jewish incumbents.
“Social media platforms are breeding grounds for hate and anti-Semitism at a frightening scale, and as very public and sometimes polarizing figures, Jewish members of Congress often experience the worst of this on Twitter,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.
Among those running, Congressman Jerry Nadler and Senator Chuck Schumer, both from New York State, were disproportionately targeted with the highest number of problematic tweets.
Other lawmakers who were disproportionately targeted included Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island.
Tweets that use “explicit anti-Semitic language” accounted for only 7% of the problematic tweets, but the ADL said that Twitter had not yet removed them, “even though they clearly violate the platform’s rules and policies.”
“While Twitter has taken myriad steps to deal with hate speech that violates their terms of service, they’re not identifying or removing this blatant anti-Semitism quickly enough,” Greenblatt said. “Twitter must enforce their rules and remove such content swiftly and consistently.”
The ADL said its report included recommendations for social media companies as well as tips for lawmakers and candidates.