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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: 2016
Abstract: Denne rapporten presenterer HL-senterets undersøkelse av hvorvidt og hvordan antisemittisme kommer til uttrykk i et utvalg
norske medier. Undersøkelsen har tatt utgangspunkt i et begrenset og strategisk utvalg saker fra redigerte nyhetsmedier og
kommentarfelt fra nettaviser og én av de utvalgte nyhetsmedienes Facebook-sider. Det er gjort kvantitative innholdsanalyser
av totalt 824 artikler og 2689 kommentarer. Det er også gjort en rent kvalitativ gjennomgang av cirka 250 Twitter-meldinger tilknyttet
emneknaggen «jøde», fra perioden 14. juli 2010 – 28. mai 2016.

Undersøkelsen viser at negative og problematiske utsagn og ytringer om jøder eksisterer i både de redigerte nyhetsmediene
og kommentarfeltene. Samlet sett er likevel slike ytringer, og spesielt eksplisitte antisemittiske utsagn, relativt lite utbredt i
det undersøkte materialet. Fremstillinger av jødene som en kollektiv størrelse og ansvarliggjøring av jøder for staten Israels politikk
er de problematiske uttrykksformene som har høyest forekomst i det undersøkte materialet. Den vanligste formen for
slike ytringer er generaliserende sammenblandinger av jøder som gruppe og staten Israel, og oppfordringer om at jøder som
gruppe skal ta tydelig avstand fra israelske handlinger. I blant refereres det også til «amerikanske jøder» eller «norske jøder»
som en enhet med felles meninger, interesser og mål. Det er videre en viss forekomst av ytringer som sammenlikner Israels
politikk overfor palestinerne med den nazistiske jødeforfølgelsen og negative utsagn som spiller på forestilte negative trekk ved
jødisk religion. I enkelte av kommentarfeltene forekommer tradisjonelle konspiratoriske antisemittiske forestillinger.

De problematiske enkeltutsagnene i redigerte nyhetsmedier er mest utbredt i leserbrev, kronikker og debattinnlegg som er
skrevet av eksterne bidragsytere, mens de kommer sjeldnere til uttrykk i redaksjonelle kronikker, ledere og nyhetsartikler tilknyttet
medienes egne medarbeidere. Slike ytringer utløser imidlertid i de fleste tilfeller konkrete tilsvar og reaksjoner, og blir dermed sjeldent
stående uimotsagt. Problematiske og til dels jødefiendtlige ytringer er noe mer utbredt i artikler som også inneholder uttalte
Israel-kritiske standpunkter. Samtidig har et tydelig flertall av de Israel-kritiske artiklene overhodet ikke forekomst av problematiske/
negative utsagn om jøder. Mange av de problematiske ytringene i de redigerte mediene er utslag av upresis og ubevisst språkbruk,
og sjeldent et uttrykk for antisemittiske intensjoner. Eksplisitte antisemittiske ytringer forekommer i svært liten grad i denne delen
av mediene.

Enkelte av de jødefiendtlige ytringene tenderer til å være mer eksplisitt uttrykt i kommentarfeltene.På samme måte som i de redigerte
nyhetsmediene har negative/problematiske ytringer om jøder i kommentarfeltene noe høyere forekomst i sammenheng med Israel-kritiske standpunkter. Det er imidlertid kommentarfeltene under saker om antisemittisme og Holocaust som utmerker seg ved å ha
høyest forekomst av problematiske og jødefiendtlige ytringer. Slike saker aktiverer også et klart flertall av de groveste konspiratoriske
antisemittiske ytringene. Selv om denne type ytringer er relativt lite utbredt også i de undersøkte kommentarfeltene, viser mangfoldet
blant de groveste antisemittiske uttrykkene en bemerkelsesverdig kontinuitet i det antisemittiske tankegodset.
Twitter-meldingene tilknyttet emneknaggen «jøde» skiller seg fra det øvrige undersøkte materialet. Selv om et mindretall
av meldingene spiller på antisemittiske klisjeer, er koplingen av denne emneknaggen til penger og moralske avvik innenfor
økonomi og profitt et gjennomgående trekk.Slike meldinger refererer ikke til faktiske eller forestilte jøder, men viser bl.a. til venners
gjerrighet, overdreven sparsomhet og kollegers lave arbeidsmoral. #jøde blir altså brukt som en metafor for slette karaktertrekk,som uvilje mot å betale gjeld, uærlig profittog latskap. Slike ytringer refererer til klassiske forestillinger i den moderne antisemittismen,og inngår i en historisk norsk satirisk tradisjon.