A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism Part 3: Meme Analysis

Disclaimer. Note that content posted on both Web communities can be characterized as highly offensive and racist. In this post, we discuss our analysis without censoring any offensive language, hence we inform the reader that this post contains language that is likely to be upsetting.

 

 

In addition to hateful terms, memes also play a well documented role in the spread of propaganda and ethnic hate in Web communities. To detail how memes spread and how different Web communities influence one another with memes, our previous research established a pipeline which automatically collects, annotates, and analyzes over 160M memes from over 2.6B posts from from Web communities; Reddit, /pol/, Gab, and Twitter. Within Reddit, we pay particular attention to The Donald subreddit (The Donald), a Trump supporting subreddit which notoriously propagates hateful memes and propaganda. In a nutshell, we use perceptual hashing and clustering techniques to track and analyze the propagation of memes across multiple Web communities. Continue reading “A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism Part 3: Meme Analysis”

A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism Part 2 : Temporal Analysis

Disclaimer. Note that content posted on both Web communities can be characterized as highly offensive and racist. In this post, we discuss our analysis without censoring any offensive language, hence we inform the reader that this post contains language that is likely to be upsetting.

Our temporal analysis that shows the use of racial slurs over time on Gab and /pol/, our textbased analysis that leverages word2vec embeddings to understand the use of text with respect to ethnic slurs, and our memetic analysis that focuses on the propagation of the antisemitic Happy Merchant meme. Continue reading “A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism Part 2 : Temporal Analysis”

A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism : Part 1 Intro

A new wave of growing antisemitism, driven by fringe Web communities, is an increasingly worrying presence in the socio-political realm. The ubiquitous and global nature of the Web has provided tools used by these groups to spread their ideology to the rest of the Internet. Although the study of antisemitism and hate is not new, the scale and rate of change of online data has impacted the efficacy of traditional approaches to measure and understand this worrying trend.

In our latest paper, we present a large-scale, quantitative study of online antisemitism. We collect hundreds of million comments and images from alt-right Web communities like 4chan’s Politically Incorrect board  /pol/) and the Twitter clone, Gab. Using scientifically grounded methods, we quantify the escalation and spread of antisemitic memes and rhetoric across the Web. We find the frequency of antisemitic content greatly increases (in some cases more than doubling) after major political events such as the 2016 US Presidential Election and the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Furthermore, this antisemitism appears in tandem with sharp increases in white ethnic nationalist content on the same communities. Continue reading “A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism : Part 1 Intro”