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.