(JTA) — Online extremists encouraged by Kanye West’s Recent Anti-Semitic Tirades and through Elon Musk’s pledge to relax content moderation policy on Twitter after he took control of the social media platform this week, we’ve launched a new hashtag campaign targeting Jews.
“With Elon taking over Twitter, it’s time to finally put our skills to use,” wrote an anonymous user on 4chan, the hate-filled online forum. “There will be maximum chaos on Twitter for the next 48 hours, so now is our time to strike while the iron is hot.”
The 4chan user called on others to use the hashtag #TheNoticing when posting anti-Semitic content on Twitter, especially posts that hammered out the Nazi-inspired idea that Jews control the world through covert machinations.
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The resulting spate of hateful content on Twitter over the past two days was highlighted by actor Seth Rogen, who is Jewish. He tweeted about the hashtag campaign to his 9.4 million followers on Friday.
“Anyone who wants to see how much anti-Semitism is currently thriving, just check the hashtag #TheNoticing,” Rogen wrote.
Rogen quickly deleted the tweet, perhaps because many Jewish users have argued, including this week, that citing tweets from anti-Semites serves to amplify their hateful message.
Given the importance of Twitter as a global social media platform used by world leaders, media figures and celebrities, Musk’s acquisition of the company is being closely watched. In particular, many in the Jewish world are bracing for changes that could lead to the further spread of racist and anti-Semitic ideas online.
The head of the Anti-Defamation League said Musk’s willingness to welcome Kanye West, the rapper who was suspended this month for anti-Semitic posts, back to the platform was worrying.
“We are concerned that Mr. Musk’s takeover of Twitter could accelerate what ADL has repeatedly seen: driving marginalized communities from social media,” CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement Friday.
Musk caused controversy leading up to his takeover of the company when he vowed to end what he sees as censorship practices on the platform. In a message to investorsHowever, on Thursday he seemed to soften his stance. He said freedom of speech should be balanced with rules to ensure Twitter is “warm and welcoming to everyone.”
Musk said his goal was to “have a common digital city square, where a wide variety of beliefs can be discussed in a healthy way.” He added that Twitter “cannot become a free hellscape, where everything can be said without consequences!”
Still, some Twitter users, including Jewish ones, said they plan to leave the platform or at least expect it to become less welcoming or pleasant for them.
“Ugh. This place is becoming a hotbed of hatred, especially anti-Semitism.” wrote user Ari Solomon with a link to a news article about the Musk acquisition. PJC