A tool to monitor online antisemitism has been launched in France, after
an initiative found almost 52,000 instances of anti-Jewish sentiment posted last year.
The Online Antisemitism Observatory was launched this week and developed by French Jewish representative body CRIF, whose president Francis Kalifat last week said it would help give “a more complete picture of antisemitism in France”.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Figaro, he said it was “necessary to identify, quantify and qualify the hateful content present on the internet”, adding that the idea was to observe social media and “present a fairer picture of what antisemitism is”.
Currently, French Jewish authorities only count the number of online antisemitic incidents by the number of complaints filed but, after researchers spent 600 hours trawling the internet, they found 51,816 antisemitic posts in 2019.
“It is the first time we managed to build a tool that allows [us] to capture everything that circulates,” said Brice Teinturier of the research institute IPSOS, which is working with CRIF.
Of the hateful posts they found, almost two in three were on Twitter while one in six was on Facebook.