ADL Survey: 68 Percent of Israeli Youth Say They Have Encountered Anti-Semitism on the Internet

Slight decline from similar poll in 2016

Jerusalem, May 23, 2018 … A new poll of Israeli teens conducted by the Anti-Defamation League’s Israel Office shows the extent to which Israeli young people are exposed to anti-Semitic messages and anti-Israeli content on the Internet and social media.  The poll, conducted by the Geocartography Institute, found that 68 percent of Israeli youth ages 15-18 report having encountered anti-Semitism online.

Nearly a quarter of those polled reported encountering anti-Semitic expressions on Twitter or in Facebook status updates at least once a month. And more than half said they had encountered hate on Facebook, eclipsing all other social media platforms.

The findings marked a decline in exposure to anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli content on the Internet. A similar ADL survey of Israeli teens in February 2016 found that 84 percent of young people in Israel reported exposure to anti-Semitism on the Internet and on social networks.

The 2018 poll of 500 Israeli teens, conducted in March 2018 found:

  • About 60 percent of Israeli teens have encountered anti-Semitism on the Internet and on social networks in general;
  • Seven percent (7%) of teens say that the anti-Semitism was directed both generally as well as toward them personally, and 1 percent noted that it was directed solely at them personally.
  • The survey found a decline in exposure to anti-Semitic on social network accounts: 65 percent of those polled said they were exposed to pages with anti-Semitic content, compared to 71% in 2016 and 76% in 2014.
  • Teens’ exposure to anti-Semitic caricatures, images and symbols online has also declined. The poll found that 71 percent of today’s teens have had exposure to such content, compared to 75 percent in 2016 and 80 percent in 2014.
  • Israeli Teens reported an increase in exposure to video clips and songs with anti-Semitic content: 70 percent reported exposure to this type of content, compared to 63 percent who reported encountering this type of content in 2016.

*The margin of error was 4.4%+-

“There’s encouraging news here since teens are reporting less exposure to anti-Semitism compared to previous polls,” said Carole Nuriel, Director of ADL’s Israel Office. “We are especially encouraged to see declines in reported exposure among teens to anti-Semitic content on Facebook. Nevertheless, many Israeli teen are still coming across a great deal of anti-Semitic hatred on social networks. There’s clearly still much work to be done by social networks to monitor, block and remove anti-Semitic content.”

Facebook remains the platform where teens report experiencing the most anti-Semitic content. The ADL poll found that 58 percent of those polled said they had been exposed to anti-Jewish hate on Facebook, down from 76 percent in 2016.  YouTube came in second, at 46 percent.  Only 17 percent of Israeli youth who reported encountering anti-Semitic content on WhatsApp.

 The teens were also asked about their views on various types of speech and whether they believed those constituted anti-Semitic acts:

  • 89% said they believe that the denial of the State of Israel’s right to exist was anti-Semitic;
  • 86% noted that they considered boycotts of the State of Israel to be anti-Semitic.
  • And 76% noted that they considered reference to conspiracies regarding the intentions of Israel or Zionists to control governments or international systems to be anti-Semitic.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.