Antisemitic and Anti-Muslim Hate Speech Surges Across the Internet
In recent times, there has been a disturbing surge in both antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate speech across the internet. This alarming trend has been particularly noticeable following a terrorist attack by Hamas.
The Rise in Hate Speech
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) conducted two separate investigations which revealed a shocking increase in hate speech. They identified a significant increase in antisemitic comments on YouTube and a substantial increase in language associated with anti-Muslim hate when compared to the days prior to the attack. Similar spikes of both antisemitic and anti-Muslim language were observed on alternative social media platforms.
The Real-World Impact
Hannah Rose, ISD’s Hate and Extremist Analyst, highlighted the real-world impact of this online hate speech in an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation. She stated, “What we know about online antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred is that it never stays online”. This statement underscores the potential for online hate speech to translate into real-world harm.
The US Context
In the United States, advocacy groups have reported a spike in hate incidents against Jewish and Muslim individuals amid the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas. The Anti-Defamation League reported that since the Hamas attack, antisemitic incidents in the US increased significantly, according to preliminary data. The Council on American-Islamic Relations also reported an uptick in incidents, but did not release specific numbers.
A Long-Standing Issue
It's important to note that this recent uptick is part of a years-long rise in hate crimes in the US. FBI data shows that hate crimes in the US are the highest since collection began. Antisemitic crimes were on the rise long before the Hamas attack. Between the previous and current year, the number of antisemitic hate crimes increased significantly – the highest ever recorded by the FBI.
The rise in online hate speech targeting Jews and Muslims is really worrying. We need to act fast to tackle this issue.