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Author(s): Burke, Shani
Date: 2017
Abstract: This thesis uses critical discursive psychology to analyse anti-Semitic and Islamophobic discourse on the Facebook pages of two far-right organisations: Britain First and the English Defence League. Using the Charlie Hebdo attack as a time frame, I examine how the far-right manage their identity and maintain rationality online, as well as how users on Facebook respond to the far-right. This thesis demonstrates how Britain First and the English Defence League present themselves as reasonable in their anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic stance following the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Ultimately, I bring together the study of fascist discourse and political discourse on social media using critical discursive psychology, in a novel synthesis. The Charlie Hebdo shooting and the shooting at the kosher supermarket in Paris in January 2015 (as well as other attacks by members of the Islamic State) have led to Muslims being seen as a threat to Britain, and thus Muslims have been exposed to Islamophobic attacks and racial abuse. The current climate is a challenging situation for the far-right, as they are presented with the dilemma of appearing as rational and even mainstream, whilst nevertheless adopting an anti-Islamic stance. The analysis focuses on how Britain First and the English Defence League used the shooting at the Kosher supermarket to align with Jews in order to construct them as under threat from Islam, and promote its anti-Islamic stance. I also analyse visual communication used by Britain First to provide evidence that Britain First supported Jewish communities. Discourse from Facebook users transitioned from supportive towards Jews, to questioning the benefits that Jews brought to Britain, and expressing Holocaust denial. Furthermore, I discuss how other far-right politicians in Europe such as Geert Wilders from the Dutch Party for Freedom, portrayed himself as a reasonable politician in the anti-Islamic stance he has taken in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack. Findings are discussed in light of how the far-right communicate about the Charlie Hebdo shooting whilst maintaining a reasonable stance when projecting anti-Semitic and Islamophobic ideology, and how such discourse can encompass hate speech. I demonstrate how critical discursive psychology can be used to show how various conflicting social identities are constructed and interact with each other online. This thesis shows how the far-right use aligning with Jews as means to present Muslims as problematic, and how such alignment has resulted in the marginalisation of both Jews and Muslims.
Date: 2020
Abstract: In this article, we conduct a comprehensive study of online antagonistic content related to Jewish identity posted on Twitter between October 2015 and October 2016 by UK-based users. We trained a scalable supervised machine learning classifier to identify antisemitic content to reveal patterns of online antisemitism perpetration at the source. We built statistical models to analyze the inhibiting and enabling factors of the size (number of retweets) and survival (duration of retweets) of information flows in addition to the production of online antagonistic content. Despite observing high temporal variability, we found that only a small proportion (0.7%) of the content was antagonistic. We also found that antagonistic content was less likely to disseminate in size or survive for a longer period. Information flows from antisemitic agents on Twitter gained less traction, while information flows emanating from capable and willing counter-speech actors—that is, Jewish organizations—had a significantly higher size and survival rates. This study is the first to demonstrate that Sampson’s classic sociological concept of collective efficacy can be observed on social media (SM). Our findings suggest that when organizations aiming to counter harmful narratives become active on SM platforms, their messages propagate further and achieve greater longevity than antagonistic messages. On SM, counter-speech posted by credible, capable and willing actors can be an effective measure to prevent harmful narratives. Based on our findings, we underline the value of the work by community organizations in reducing the propagation of cyberhate and increasing trust in SM platforms.
Author(s): Allington, Daniel
Date: 2018
Abstract: Existing research suggests that, in contemporary liberal democracies, complaints of racism are routinely rejected and prejudice may be both expressed and disavowed in the same breath. Surveys and historical research have established that – both in democratic states and in those of the Soviet Bloc (while it existed) – antisemitism has long been related to or expressed in the form of statements about Israel or ‘Zionist’, permitting anti-Jewish attitudes to circulate under cover of political critique. This article looks at how the findings of a survey of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli attitudes were rejected by users of three Facebook pages associated with the British Left. Through thematic discourse analysis, three recurrent repertoires are identified: firstly, what David Hirsh calls the ‘Livingstone Formulation’ (i.e. the argument that complaints of antisemitism are made in bad faith to protect Israel and/or attack the Left), secondly, accusations of flawed methodology similar to those with which UK Labour Party supporters routinely dismiss the findings of unfavourable opinion polls, and thirdly, the argument that, because certain classically antisemitic beliefs pertain to a supposed Jewish or ‘Zionist’ elite and not to Jews in general, they are not antisemitic. In one case, the latter repertoire facilitates virtually unopposed apologism for Adolf Hitler. Contextual evidence suggests that the dominance of such repertoires within one very large UK Labour Party-aligned group may be the result of action on the part of certain ‘admins’ or moderators. It is argued that awareness of the repertoires used to express and defend antisemitic attitudes should inform the design of quantitative research into the latter, and be taken account of in the formulation of policy measures aiming to restrict or counter hate speech (in social media and elsewhere).
Date: 2019
Abstract: What can the internet tell us about antisemitism in the United Kingdom? It has been shown that people are remarkably honest when they search for information online. Their Google searches and queries reveal interests, prejudices and hatreds that they might keep hidden from friends, family members, neighbours, surveys and even from themselves. They have been shown to share their health secrets, sexual preferences, and hostility towards other groups.

We decided to put this to the test to see what the Google searches made by people in the United Kingdom could tell us about attitudes
towards Jewish people in this country and in general towards Jews. Unsurprisingly perhaps, we found that, every year, people in this
country express antisemitic thoughts through their internet searches. People make some Google searches that are disturbing, including searches such as “I hate Jews,” and “Why are Jews evil?”, along with other searches expressing violent intentions towards Jews. Others post on anonymous hate sites such as the far right Stormfront website, expressing their antisemitic feelings about various Jewish Members of Parliament and celebrities.

By analysing this data, we can get a better sense of the where, when, who and what of antisemitism in Britain today. For example,we looked at whether the voting patterns of towns and cities affect the number of antisemitic searches in those places. We found that searches looking for information on the Holocaust being a hoax rise about 30 per cent every year on Holocaust Memorial Day. We learnt that Jewish women in public life or positions of power are the subject of more antisemitic searches than Jewish men in similar positions. We found evidence of the rise in popularity of antisemitic conspiracy theories, such as the discredited myth relating to the role of the Rothschild family in running the world. And we found that sometimes heightened media focus on Jews or Israel, even if it is positive, can still lead to an increase in online searches for antisemitic content.

We also found strategies that technology companies and civil society organisations can use to fight hatred. For example, our research shows that, when Google changed its autocomplete formula to eliminate antisemitic search suggestions, this lowered the number of people searching for antisemitic material (which also means that, before removing those antisemitic search prompts, Google was directing people to make antisemitic searches
who might otherwise not have done so).

This is the story of the hidden hate that our report reveals.
Date: 2018
Abstract: In welchen Manifestationen tritt Antisemitismus im digitalen Zeitalter in Erscheinung? Wie, wo und von wem werden judenfeindliche Inhalte artikuliert und verbreitet?Welche Stereotype werden kodiert, welche Argumente benutzt? Welche Rolle spielen Emotionen und irrationale Affektlogik beim aktuellen Einstellungs- und Verbalantisemitismus? Inwiefern hat das Internet die Verbreitung und Intensivierung von Antisemitismen akzeleriert und forciert? Wie lassen sich die modernen Ausprägungen
des Judenhasses wissenschaftlich beschreiben, einordnen und erklären?

Die von der DFG vier Jahre lang geförderte Langzeitstudie zur Artikulation, Tradierung, Verbreitung und Manifestation von Judenhass im World Wide Web1 hat diese Fragen im Rahmen der empirischen Antisemitismusforschung systematisch und datenreich
untersucht.

Weltweit, so scheint es seit Jahren, nimmt die Artikulation und Verbreitung von Antisemitismen, insbesondere über das Web 2.0, stark zu. Diese Entwicklung in der virtuellen Welt korreliert in der realen Welt mit judenfeindlichen Übergriffen und Attacken, Drohungen und Beleidigungen sowie dem „neuen Unbehagen d.h. Furcht und Sorge in den jüdischen Gemeinden Deutschlands und Europas.

Dieser Eindruck, der sich bislang nur durch Einzelfälle dokumentiert sah (und deshalb zum Teil bezweifelt oder als subjektives „Gefühl“ in Frage gestellt wurde), wird nun durch die empirischen Daten der vorliegenden Langzeitstudie wissenschaftlich bestätigt.

Durch die Spezifika der Internetkommunikation (Reziprozität, aktive Netzpartizipation, Schnelligkeit, freie Zugänglichkeit, Multimodalität, Anonymität, globale Verknüpfung) und die steigende Relevanz der Sozialen Medien als meinungsbildende Informationsquelle in der Gesamtgesellschaft hat die schnelle, ungefilterte und nahezu grenzenlose Verbreitung judenfeindlichen Gedankengutes allein rein quantitativ ein Ausmaß erreicht, das es nie zuvor in der Geschichte gab. Die Digitalisierung der Informations-und Kommunikationstechnologie hat „Antisemitismus 2.0“ online schnell, multipel, textsortenspezifisch diffus und multimodal multiplizierbar gemacht. Jeden Tag werden Tausende neue Antisemitismen gepostet und ergänzen die seit Jahren im
Netz gespeicherten und einsehbaren judenfeindlichen Texte, Bilder und Videos. Im 10-Jahres-Vergleich hat sich die Anzahl der antisemitischen Online-Kommentare zwischen 2007 und 2018 z.T. verdreifacht. Es gibt zudem kaum noch einen Diskursbereich
im Netz 2.0, in dem Nutzer_innen nicht Gefahr laufen, auf antisemitische Texte zu stoßen, auch wenn sie nicht aktiv danach suchen.
Date: 2017
Author(s): Faro, Laurie M.C.
Date: 2014
Abstract: In April 2005, the Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands went online. This
monument is an Internet monument dedicated to preserving the memory of more than 100,000 men,
women and children, Dutch Jewish victims of the Shoah. As of September 2010, the interactive
Jewish Monument Community website has been linked to the website of the Digital Monument. The
main objective of the monument, and its community, is to reconstruct the picture of the Jewish
community in the Netherlands on the eve of their destruction by “returning” to each individual
victim his or her identity. With this monument, and its companion Community website, a new
approach to commemoration is introduced, characterized by the application of new concepts in
design, memorial space, and communication. My research on the practices engaged in, and the
meaning of this Digital Monument and the associated Community, has been a qualitative and
explorative exercise within the interdisciplinary field of memory studies and ritual studies.
Questionnaires, ninety in total, were returned by first-, second- and third-generation users and by
other users without any family connection to victims remembered on the monument.
The results of my research show that although practices are mostly limited in time they evoke deeply
felt emotions raised by the enormous number of names, the ages at which people were killed, and the
stories behind the victims. My research also shows that the characteristics Foot, Warnick & Schneider
put forward as being typical of web-based memorializing – co-production of memory and voice – are
indeed distinguishing features of the Digital Monument and its associated Community (Foot, Warnick
& Schneider 2006, 88–91). By sharing with the Community their own personal remembrances,
stories, pictures or other digitized objects, users are in effect co–producing the remembrance of the
Shoah. Each individual may decide, 24/7 and from all over the world, what they consider is
important to voice within the Community; the memorial refrains from taking sides or imposing
closure upon the audience’s interpretation of the memory of the Shoah. Expressing oneself in public
– in this case in a virtual environment – appears to have a healing effect (Casey 2004, 17–44; Savage
2009, 261–295).
Date: 2010