(VINnews) — According to a new report, antisemitic Tweets surged after Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.Join our WhatsApp group
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The report is based on a study — conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a nonpartisan think tank, and CASM Technology, a start-up that researches disinformation and hate speech online — which was quoted by the Washington Post and other publications.
It found an average of over 6,200 posts per week appearing to contain antisemitic language between June 1 and Oct. 27, the day Musk finalized his purchase of the social media platform. But that figure more than doubled to over 12,700 through early February — a 105% increase.
Anecdotally, some observers noted that there appeared to be an increase in antisemitic tweets after Musk took control, and this study seems to confirm those observations.
The study used machine-learning tools to identify likely antisemitic tweets. Researchers trained a tool to spot tweets that “plausibly” matched at least one interpretation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.
The organization lists making “dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews” and “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews” as examples of antisemitic remarks.
Researchers then manually reviewed a subset of the posts to compare it with their algorithmic sorting tool, and determined that it matched with 76% accuracy.
“There are inherent challenges in training language models on as nuanced a topic as antisemitism,” researchers wrote.
In the past Musk has denied that there is an increase in antisemitic posts. In addition, what is not clear from the study is how much engagement and visibility the hate posts are receiving.
If the report is correct, part of the reason for the increase is likely the fact that Musk, a staunch first-amendment advocate, allows more free speech in general on the platform and conducts less censorship. For example, under the previous management, Twitter censored the Hunter Biden laptop scandal for months, as well as many pro-Trump stories and conservative accounts that were labeled “disinformation.”
Musk notably has restored many high-profile conservative accounts, including that of President Trump, who has not tweeted since his account was reinstated.