New Study Finds There May Be ‘Coordinated Vilification’ Campaign Against Jewish Americans During 2020 Elections
A new study on online disinformation and harassment has found that a “coordinated vilification” campaign against Jewish Americans is likely during the 2020 US election.
The study by the Institute for the Future, titled, “The Human Consequences of Computational Propaganda,” examined online propaganda, disinformation, and harassment directed against various groups during the 2018 midterm elections and attempted to extrapolate these trends for the 2020 campaign.
The authors concluded that there may well be “coordinated vilification campaigns aimed at Jewish Americans, women’s reproductive rights groups, and immigration activists.”
The study found that the targeting of these groups online included “co-opting images, videos, hashtags, and information previously used or generated by social and issue-focused groups — and then repurposing this content in order to camouflage disinformation and harassment campaigns.”
In addition, “Disinformation campaigns utilize age-old stereotypes and conspiracies — often attempting to foment both intra-group polarization and external arguments with other groups.”
The efforts by various social media companies to combat this have, thus far, been ineffective, says the study.
In the case Jewish Americans, the study found the “co-option of terms and ideas. Anti-Semitic trolls online have co-opted Hebrew words, including shoah and goyim, and turned them into derogatory terms.”
Also directed against Jews were “Conspiracies about governmental manipulation of the public and secret cabals running the world — a ‘new world order.’”
The study notes that Jews who had been targets of “doxxing” campaigns — in which personal material is posted on the internet to facilitate harassment — attempted to seek redress from social media companies, but “received little help.”