ADL witnessed an explosion of hate online, especially on social media platforms in 2015. While the audit includes incidents of online anti-Semitism reported to ADL in which an individual or institution is explicitly targeted, it does not count general anti-Semitic expressions online.
ADL has been monitoring the recent spike on such harassment, which seems to have corresponded to the political season, with a large amount of this vitriol directed at journalists and other public figures. ADL recently launched a Task Force on Online Harassment and Journalism to investigate the issue of anti-Semitism directed at journalists through social media and to develop recommendations on how to respond to it. Advisors to this group include thought leaders from academia, industry, journalism, law enforcement and non-governmental organizations. The Task Force will report publicly on its findings and recommendations in the next three months.
The following is a list of selected online incidents of anti-Semitism reported in 2015:
- Chicago, IL: Threatening anti-Semitic comments were posted for the University of Chicago area on Yik Yak, an anonymous social media app that allows people to send and receive posts in a localized area. Some posts named specific students, while others expressed more general anti-Semitic sentiments such as “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.” (February)
- Nassau County, NY: A photograph of a Jewish student altered to look like Adolf Hitler with the caption “I’d rather be gassing Jews right now” was posted on a high school’s Facebook page. (March)
- Birmingham, AL: After some boys posted a photo of themselves celebrating a bar mitzvah on Instagram, another boy commented on the photo “GO TO AUSCHWITZ PIG JEW” with a crying emoji. (March)
- Atlanta, GA: On Yelp, a woman was called a “lonely dried up Jew,” likely by a former client. (April)
- Beaver County, UT: A woman received a private Facebook message that said “F--- Jews.” (May)
- Middlesex County, MA: In response to an article she wrote, a woman received hateful e-mail, including one that said “I look forward to the REAL Holocaust when you, you ugly parasitical f------ Jew piece of s--- burns as I poke the ashes.” (June)
- Brooklyn, NY: A woman received a threatening e-mail on her work account from an unknown person that stated “F--- YOU KIKE BITCH” and “F--- YOU AND YOUR FAMILY,” and included a photo of a slaughtered pig. (August)
- Burlington County, NJ: Someone posted photos of a Jewish woman on Instagram, writing about her Jewish religion and calling the victim “Hitler” and a “Nazi.” (September)
- St. Louis, MO: A rabbi received a number of anti-Semitic e-mails. One of which read “Hey KAPO, F U…” with the subject “Chanukah party.” (December)