A new report from the Anti-Defamation League puts some numbers to Twitter’s abuse problem, showing that the social media platform plays host to millions of anti-Semitic messages a year.
The league found that in one year, from the end of January 2017 to the end of January 2018, Twitter users sent or retweeted at least 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets. League researchers used automated searches, combined with human statistical analysis, to draw their conclusions.
Starting in late 2017, Twitter began a significant crackdown on personalities who share hateful speech. The American Nazi Party and white supremacist group Vanguard America were both kicked off the platform in December.
This purge has seemingly done little to tackle the problem of rampant anti-Semitism on Twitter, however. A quick search just now for the word “holohoax,” a euphemism used by anti-Semites who are Holocaust deniers, yielded dozens of vile results from the past 24 hours, including tweets like this.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Twitter isn’t doing enough to stop harassment of the Jewish people.
“This new data shows that even with the steps Twitter has taken to remove hate speech and to deal with those accounts disseminating it, users are still spreading a shocking amount of anti-Semitism and using Twitter as a megaphone to harass and intimidate Jews,” Greenblatt said in a press release.
- A white South Carolina man was arrested and charged with attempting to hire an undercover FBI agent to murder his African American neighbor. For $500, the man allegedly wanted the agent to “hang his neighbor from a tree.” The FBI says it was tipped off by a source after the man contacted a white supremacist group looking for help.
- Oregon State University student Andrew Oswalt has been hit with a hate crime charge for allegedly putting stickers emblazoned with a racial slur on the cars of attendees of a racial justice meeting near campus.
- A journalist at an LGBT magazine in Tennessee was attacked outside of a bar by assailants who reportedly yelled a homophobic slur during the assault.
- Fliers bearing anti-Semitic messages, and calls to join a white supremacist book club, were placed on cars in Omaha, Nebraska.
- A homeless man in California is facing a hate crime charge for allegedly attacking a smoke shop employee, who is of Middle Eastern descent. The suspect shouted “white power” in front of the establishment and tossed a cup of soda in the employee’s face.
- Police in Clinton, Iowa, are looking into a racist message written on the inside of a black church’s bus that includes the number “1488.” This is a popular white supremacist slogan. The “14” refers to the “14 Words,” a white nationalist catchphrase, and “88” is a reference to “Heil Hitler,” because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
- A high school student in Wayland, Massachusetts, is in hot water for writing a racial slur on the locker of an African American classmate. A local law enforcement official labeled the incident a hate crime. Students at the school told MetroWest Daily News that they’d seen other racist and anti-Semitic graffiti on school grounds in recent weeks.
We’ve noticed an upsurge recently in overtly white supremacist or white nationalist candidates running for office across the country. There’s Paul Nehlen, a noted anti-Semite who is running for Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin, and Arthur Jones, a Holocaust denier, who is running for a congressional seat in Illinois.
But what about local elections? Is there a far-right candidate running for office near you? Doesn’t matter if they’re running for dog catcher or senator, we’d like to hear about it!
What’s up with Andrew Anglin?
Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi troll who runs The Daily Stormer website, has been under pressure again lately.
He’s being sued for online harassment. Every few weeks, the website is kicked off a different hosting platform, and he’s constantly asking readers for money to fight his legal battles. His whereabouts remain a mystery.
On Sunday, a piece appeared on The Daily Stormer, with Anglin’s byline, about cleaning your teeth in the middle of the day. The story, which we won’t link to, contained references to self-harm and suicide:
Yes, friends. It’s true. Brushing your teeth in the middle of the day can lead to a state of revitalization. Those thoughts of suicide and murder will quickly dissipate and you will be left ready to go back out and tackle the next paper in your endless stack of papers, or keep working at the gas station.
And, for at least a month, Anglin has also only posted videos of manga cartoons and softcore porn on Gab, the white nationalist social media platform.
We checked in with Luke O’Brien, a senior reporter at the Huffington Post who wrote the definitive story on Anglin.
He said that in addition to being under pressure from four lawsuits, there are signs Anglin’s followers are turning against him.
The Daily Stormer’s message board appears to have been scrubbed of any dissenting comments, O’Brien said, and white supremacists on Gab and elsewhere have been railing against Anglin.
“Anglin has been forced to restrict any kind of dissent that’s going on in the community that he’s built,” O’Brien said. “Anybody who challenges him, I’ve heard, gets banned right away, so you’re seeing fewer people commenting on the stories.”
Anglin also hasn’t released any data on how many visits his site is getting for awhile, something he used to do regularly, O’Brien said.
“Those numbers were always hard to trust, but they’re probably so empirically horrible right now that they wouldn’t even release fakes ones,” he said.
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