In recent years, antisemitism has been rising online, through the spread of conspiracy theories and other forms of hatred and bigotry. This has been particularly occurring on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.
Recently, the matter has been compounded by the involvement of tech billionaire Elon Musk. In 2020, his company SpaceX launched a controversial satellite called Starlink, which quickly became a focus of conspiracy theories about its purported involvement with, among other things, controlling the weather and mind control. Additionally, Musk has used his massive Twitter following of more than 45 million followers to spread his own theories about sensitive subjects such as George Soros and the Rothschild family, often accused of promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories.
When viewed together, these events represent a troubling trend in online antisemitism. Musk’s Starlink launch and rhetoric have amplified already-present anti-Semitic content on the internet. The resulting effect has led to an increased incidence of hate speech, intimidation, and harassment against Jews online, with many social media users feeling unsafe.
Whether intentional or not, Musk’s complicity in the spread of online antisemitism cannot be overlooked. The tech mogul’s immense power and influence have been put to destructive use, acting as a powerful catalyst for existing online antisemitism. Consequently, it is the responsibility of all those involved to find ways to counter this hatred and keep antisemitism out of the digital realm.