Twitter has a Nazi problem. You know this. I know this. We all know this. But for some reason, I remain consistently shocked by the blatant anti-Semitism on the platform. Back in October 2016, when we were all about 400 years younger, The New Yorker published an article on “Twitter’s Anti-Semitism Problem,” where Ryan Lizza writes that the company has a reputation “as the platform with the most laissez-faire attitude toward hate speech.” Twitter notoriously is terrible at dealing with Nazis (see: Why Can’t I Stop Reporting Anti-Semitic Trolls on Twitter?) even though they verified @antisemitism!
There was a huge surge in anti-Semitic posts on Twitter during the 2016 campaign, well documented by the Anti-Defamation League. Their report pointed out:
While anti-Semitic tweets tended to spike in the wake of election-related news coverage, the language used in the anti-Semitic tweets was not solely election-related. Many tweets referenced classic anti-Semitic tropes (Jews control the media, Jews control global finance, Jews perpetrated 9/11, etc.). This suggests that while the initial provocation for anti-Semitic tweets may have been at least nominally election-related, the Twitter users generating targeted anti-Semitism may have used news events as an excuse to unleash anti-Semitic memes, harassment, etc.
So, let’s talk about those tweets not directed at journalists, but just users shouting into the void with their anti-Semitic conspiracy theory! “Jews control [fill in the blank].” I searched it on Twitter and narrowed my results to just tweets from 2018. Just in 2018, what do Twitter users believe Jews control?
Take a deep breath.
In alphabetical order:
American political structures
South African Banks
The gold and diamond mines of King Solomon
The Mainstream Media
The Roman Slave Trade
The United States
US currency & economics
And this is only in the last two weeks!
I’m wary to give these tweets attention. Buuuut…let’s have fun with it!
Here I will break down some of the past two weeks’ “Jews Control” tweets (screenshots instead of hyperlinks, because, let’s not give these anti-Semites any hits):
We’ll start simple with @bappy608. Really drove his point home with the double use of “Jews.” Both a hashtag and a capital JEWS. Further investigating @bappy608’s profile lets me know that he is “16. Wisconsin. Martial Artist. Far Alt-Right Trump Supporter. White Advocate.” Sound like a reaaaaaal fun dude.
Another Jews-control-the-media. It’s truly a classic. @zylx5374 point out that not only do Jews control the media (or “media influence,” unsure the difference. @zylx5374, please clarify!!), but they hate American nationalism, and that Michael Wolff is a Jew. Cool!
A wade into international politics — @PMahumapelo has over 2,000 followers — because Jews apparently control the South African banks.
But not just the banks; the Jews are the fake news. Gasp!
@Mike88summer was apparently trying to convince our president that Afghanistan was not an issue, but Israel. Because, you know, 9/11. Oh and that Jews are running the media.
There’s another subset of “Jews control” tweets that feature infographics. They confuse me more than enlighten me.
Take @lance_macthrust’s graphic that he tweeted during the Golden Globes. Sadly outdated; the image header says it’s from 2013 — update your data, Lance! — but it shows all the Jews in positions of leadership across the media. The only organization with no Jews: Fox News. Sad!
In another graphic, @IAmTheRayII tweets at both the House Republicans and Democrats that the Jews are controlling the American media, bureaucracy, and financial institutions. He presents us (by us, I mean his staggering 1,279 followers. How does @IAmTheRayII have more followers than me?) with confusing images: a collage of stars of David, news media companies, and Jewish men and a graphic of CNN with stars of David. All I’m getting is hella anti-Semitism.
But… let’s end on a positive note:
“IBS is proof Jews don’t control everything”
IBS is proof jews don’t control everything. #WednesdayWisdom
— RandomMusings (@RandomMusings15) January 11, 2018