February ‘Toxicity Analysis’ of Tweets Detects Credible Targeted Physical Threat to US Jewish Community
February’s monthly Toxicity Analysis — published by CAM in partnership with the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) — showed that toxicity scores for tweets mentioning Jews remained stable at levels similar to January.
The February results — based on a statistically-significant random sample of 100,000 tweets out of 1.3 million indexed using a machine learning model — revealed 14% of the tweets were identity attacks on Jews, 6% were insults to Jews, and 1% were threats against Jews.
All the percentages were the same as January, except for the insults category that went down by 1%, which could be explained by sampling variance. It is notable that, for most days, the maximum toxicity scores recorded for each category were higher than in January, meaning the most fringe accounts on Twitter may have become even more toxic.
For all tweets in February referring to Jews, the top 25 hashtags were #jews, #jewish, #israel, #judaism, #antisemitism, #jew, #palestine, #ukraine, #freepalestine, #torah, #auschwitz, #holocaust, #bible, #islam, #itwasascam, #israelicrimes, #christianity, #zionism, #palestinians, #christians, #usa, #christian, #iran, #antisemitic, and #muslims.
One tweet detected by NCRI was identified as a credible targeted physical threat to the U.S. Jewish community and this information was relayed to law enforcement authorities.
The tweets with the most engagement in the sample consisted mostly of quotes and news articles citing recent antisemitic events. There were also tweets with high engagement asserting Zionism was separate or antithetical to Judaism.
Examples of toxic quotes from February included — “Zionists are no different from Nazis. Zionists are not Jews. They are thieves who steal their Jewish identity and pretend to be Jews” and “Jews control the media and academia in America Elon [the tweet was a reply to Twitter CEO Elon Musk] — they’re sabotaging the most competitive races to their power. You ban people from this website who point this out though because you’re a fraud.”
While dangerous forms of antisemitism are proliferating on other social media platforms as well, the CAM Antisemitism Research Center, in partnership with the Network Contagion Research Institute, is currently only analyzing data from Twitter.
In February, CAM tracked 160 real-world antisemitic incidents reported in the media globally, marking a daily average of 5.7 incidents. In all of 2022, CAM recorded a total of 1,921 incidents, or an average of 5.3 incidents per day.
February 2023 saw 79 incidents of far-right antisemitism (49.4% of total), as well as 15 (9.4%), 30 (18.8%), and 36 (22.5%) in the far-left, Islamist, and unidentifiable categories, respectively.
CAM also monitored 20 physical threats against Jews in February, as well as 53 incidents of antisemitic vandalism.