Social media platforms are undoubtedly a safe space where anti-Israel activists can propagate antisemitic opinions and falsified facts about Israel with little to no consequences. The effect of this proliferation of anti-Jewish views online has led to the alarming erosion of Israel’s legitimacy on the world stage, in addition to having real-life consequences for Jewish communities worldwide.
But rather than examining the countless examples of anti-Israel bias and how they have spread online, it is more helpful to consider the ripple effect of this bias and how it potentially endangers the lives of Jews globally.
CyberWell, a recently launched non-profit initiative, is in the process of gathering data about antisemitic trends in its open database. CyberWell uses online research, media monitoring, and an alert center to track online Judeophobia across all social media platforms and in multiple languages.
Sadly, the organization’s work has never been more necessary: Data shows a 61 percent increase in hate speech directed at Jews on Twitter since Elon Musk purchased the platform, which has led to hashtags like “the Jews” becoming trending topic.
For online platforms to combat antisemitism, there should be a framework that defines hate speech. For instance, the widely-adopted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which CyberWell uses to judge whether content is antisemitic.
Terrorist organizations who seek to destroy Israel will often spread fake news online. Terrorist groups rely on uninformed citizens to further spread these stories.
Patterns of herd mentality and dehumanization can be seen in the online anti-Israel agenda. The legitimacy of Israel and, therefore, the right of Jews to a safe homeland is being questioned.
Israel is facing a war that is being played out online — a virtual battlefield.