The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Research Department publishes special reports highlighting a range of topical subjects from anti-Semitism to online hate to extremism. For over a quarter of a century, as part of its Digital Terrorism and Hate Project, an annual interactive report is published highlighting the promotion of online extremism, hate and anti-Semitism. The project explores how the internet is used by extremists to promote their ideologies and recruit individuals, often on the cutting edge of digital advances. Reports are shared with law enforcement, educators, and elected officials.

For more information, and to report hate content online, please email ireport@wiesenthal.com.

To access the Digital Terrorism and Hate project, please visit www.digitalhate.net.

 

Holocaust Denial and Distortion on Social Media

On the occasion of the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is highlighting how new platforms for Holocaust denial and distortion are reaching a far broader audience, more than ever before, while online content promoting Holocaust denial, distortion and relativization is spreading and growing rapidly.

This report introduces how such content is presented to users across a multitude of platforms, and the methods utilized by those who seek to disrupt, distort and destroy the memory of the victims of the Shoah while at the same time promoting anti-Semitism and hate.

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TikTok: An Overview of Hate

TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the USA and internationally. This report provides an overview of how hateful and extremist material is proliferated on this platform, and how TikTok’s algorithm pushes users towards more extremist content.


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September 11 Conspiracies: 20 Years Later

“September 11 Conspiracies: 20 Years Later” graphically catalogues the misinformation and debunked 9/11 conspiracy theories that advance bigoted and prejudiced beliefs and ideologies, especially anti-Semitism. As this report attests, the internet was used to spread many of the key conspiracy theories immediately after 9/11 and continues to serve as a platform for these theories to fester and flourish.

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Combating History's Biggest Lie:

Holocaust Denial in the Twenty-First Century

Simon Wiesenthal said, “the history of man is the history of crime.” Holocaust Denial began not after World War II but during the War with the Nazi masterminds of the Holocaust themselves. Fearing what awaited them in defeat, they sought the total destruction of the documentary evidence of the regime’s crimes. Well before Hitler retreated into his Berlin bunker, his henchman tried to eradicate all proof of the “Final Solution,” even as they strove to complete the destruction of Europe’s Jews. SS Leader Heinrich Himmler instructed his concentration camp commandants to destroy all signs of mass extermination in the most audacious coverup attempt in the history of crimes.

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Digital Terrorism + Hate 2021

The SWC called on the Big-Five social media giants to refocus on degrading the marketing capabilities of bigots, anti-Semites and terrorists – foreign and domestic.


Not a single mainstream nor emerging social media platform earned an ‘A’ grade in this year’s assessment.


Among the “Big Five,” Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube/Google have all received a “B-”; combined audience amounts to almost six billion users.


Other increasingly widespread platforms like Telegram and Parler have received a “D-“ and a “D,” respectively.


The worst grades have gone to the networking sites AnonUp, Gab, and 8Kun, as well as the video platform Brighteon, all of which receives “Fs.” These sites provide a full menu of social media options for extremists.

View Digital Terrorism + Hate 2021 here



 

Parler: An Unbiased Social Platform?

Parler is a social media platform that has quickly emerged as a growing and powerful alternative to Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, as this report shows, it has also attracted extremists who seek to use social media platforms to inject their hate into the mainstream of society.

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QAnon:
Fringe Conspiracy to Mainstream Politics

This report details the origins of QAnon; what about this conspiracy is new and how much support QAnon really has. The report also covers incidents sparked by QAnon, politicians who support it, and its future. Just as anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred have been around for thousands of years, “Qanon: From Fringe Conspiracy To Mainstream Politics” highlights the staying power of pernicious and lurid conspiracy theories spawned by fertile imaginations and nurtured by people’s fears.

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Telegram: A Briefing

This report details the growing use of this social media platform by far-right extremists to promote hate and violence. SWC researchers, who regularly share information with the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, the FBI, and local law enforcement agencies, have found that far-right channels on Telegram glorify terrorist actors and movements, including murderers of Jews and Muslims at prayer. The report documents how this content leads to incitement and inspires lone wolf violence.


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Louis Farrakhan - Four Decades of Bigotry
In His Own Words

This report was prepared amidst an unprecedented national reckoning about past and present racism. This reckoning was spurred on by protests in the streets of major US cities, charges that African Americans are victimized by systemic racism, and demands that whites acknowledge their unfair “white privilege.” Many prominent Americans, media and educational institutions, and corporations have begun to reflect publicly about their own biases and privileges.

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Deadly New Virus Intersects with History's Oldest Hate

By now everyone is painfully aware that the twenty-first century lacks immunity to not only contagious diseases but ancient ideological plagues like anti-Semitism. The current moment is particularly dangerous because of new efforts to harm Jews by exploiting well-founded concerns about the Coronavirus. This essay puts under the microscope current examples of the threatening conjunction of anxieties about this new virus with thousand-year-old prejudices demonizing Jews not just as Christ killers and Shylocks but as disease purveyors. COVID-19 is a novel virus, for which there is still no vaccine like that invented by Dr. Jonas Salk to end the scourge of polio; but the manipulation of such pandemics by anti-Semites has historical roots going back millennia. Our focus will be the highly-relevant history of what might be called “medicalized” anti-Semitism.

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A Watershed in Fighting Antisemitism: The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism has been described by US Special Envoy on Antisemitism Elan Carr as a “watershed” in the fight against antisemitism. Outside of the 34 member nations of IHRA it has been further adopted or endorsed by over 25 countries and international organizations such as the UN. In the US it is used by the State Department, Department of Education and served as the basis of President Trump’s Executive Order on Antisemitism. In this report, former Wiesenthal Center Director of Government Affairs, Mark Weitzman who introduced and steered the Working Definition to adoption, describes what this essential tool is, how it came into prominence and what its impact has been.

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