Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Rising Tide of Internet Anti-Semitism

A few years ago, I was blogging at The Jawa Report and making assorted activism videos, and I began noticing a disturbing trend at sites like MySpace, YouTube, LiveLeak and other social networks. It seemed to me there had been a steady and rapid increase in the quantity of blatantly anti-Semitic commentary on these sites, and the geographical diversity of the people posting them.

They were certainly nothing new, but I began to notice an increased proliferation of Internet 'trolls' that seemed to have no other function than to spread disinformation about Israel and the Holocaust or simply to make libelous comments about Jews in general. Entire profiles were devoted to this, boasting large lists of 'friends' and subscribers, as well as voluminous libraries of support materials, such as anti-Israeli videos, book lists to dispel the 'myth of the holocaust' and link archives of like-minded individuals.

I decided to create a video about this anti-Semitism, and I posted it on the Jawa Report (via YouTube), along with 100 screen-captures of vile, anti-Semitic comments from assorted social networks. It did not take long to compile this hateful commentary; the difficulty was in sorting through such a large volume of egregious material...

The video, called "The Path to the Final Solution", can be viewed here and the original blog post is here, although the comment screen-captures are no longer online, due to a server crash some time ago. At the same time, I also posted my video at LiveLeak, and it is notable that it was removed (twice) due to 'terms of service violations'; however great numbers of anti-Semitic videos remain on their servers. These apparently do not violate LiveLeak's terms of service.

Since posting my video at YouTube, every neo-Nazi and Jew-hating Islamist on the Internet (or so it seems) has taken a pot shot in the comments. According to their YouTube profiles, the people leaving these hate-filled messages are both men and women, young and old, educated and uneducated. What is most
alarming is the sheer volume and geographical diversity of these authors; however, aside from the varied use of vocabulary, spelling and grammar, their message remains largely consistent, as if they were working from the same script.

I quickly realized that my video was being used as a 'meet and greet' for these Jew-hating troglodytes, and I decided not to allow my creation to become a resource helping my enemies to better organize themselves. Since that time, I have made my video's comments subject to approval, and I delete most of the anti-Semitic
comments that are submitted. After all, they are usually quite generic, and add little to the landscape; however I do allow a certain number of these vile comments to illustrate the accuracy and honesty of my video, and to show that such people actually do exist, as hard as that may be for some to fathom.
It's a fine line, and while I disapprove of censorship, I am not so naïve as to allow my enemies to use that against me. I created this video to further my agenda, not theirs.

While much of this is clearly 'grassroots' hatred and bigotry, it's increasingly evident that there is also an organized element to many of the new 'sock puppet' and ' disinformation troll' profiles that are appearing on all of the major social networks:
  • Profiles are being created, many at a time, with sequential numbers appended to the end of the account names, as if created by software applications or individuals who are keeping careful records of their efforts.
  • Videos by Jews and Zionists are being targeted with disinformation and de-legitimization campaigns by individuals and groups who are working in concert. These Pro-Israel and Jewish videos are spammed with numerous anti-Semitic / disinformation comments or flagged for removal. Flagging things as 'offensive' is a favorite pastime of Islamists, in particular.
  • Bogus profiles are being created to appear pro-Zionist at first glance, but later change to virulent anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli propaganda once they have achieved some target number of friends and subscribers.
  • Profiles of Jewish / pro-Israeli activists are being 'cloned' by impostors, who then seek to discredit the person they are pretending to be, by posting inappropriate commentary on other Jewish videos. Thus the seeds of distrust are sown throughout the pro-Jewish / Zionist activism community.
  • Individuals are investing large amounts of time in these activities, as if they are receiving funding or have means of support other than jobs.
In some cases, they may be people collecting welfare while conducting these activities (as is often found amongst Islamists in the U.K.), and in some cases they are merely children with too much time on their hands. There is also the strong possibility that at least some of these actors are members of Hamas, Hezbollah, PFLP, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups, waging a kind of cyber-warfare on Israel and the Jewish people, while being financed from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and even the west.

So, without further preamble, below is a video containing a selection of the anti-Semitic comments that have been left on my video "The Path to the Final Solution". These are only a small fraction (perhaps 5% to 10%) of the total number of hate comments that have been left since February 1, 2008. I delete a lot more than I allow, and still the volume is remarkable.

LANGUAGE WARNING: What follows is the product of pure, undiluted hatred. If you have a weak constitution, best not to view the video linked below... and even those with steel in their gizzards are likely to be left somewhat queasy from the aggregate effect of the following commentary. The spelling and grammar are unaltered; however where necessary, the formatting has been adjusted to fit the video format.

NOTE: The videos below are best viewed at YouTube in HD format. Click the title above each to do so.

If the video above does not adequately indicate the scope of the problem, the following video should put it into perspective. The screen-captures it contains represent only a miniscule fraction of the total number of Nazi, Islamist and other anti-Semitic profiles that exist (as of today) on YouTube's servers:

A list of the profiles pictured in this video (and many others) can be found here, and I encourage the reader to report them to YouTube, and its parent company Google. Demand they be removed, and that YouTube take a more proactive approach to policing its website, or alter its posted terms of service to honestly reflect its indifference to its use as a platform for anti-Semitic hate-speech.


HonestAbe said...

You are brave, I wish there were more like you, Anti Semitism is on the rise again, I guess it never really died out it just hid out after WW2. Now that the internet has created a place to meet anonymously, they have come out of hiding and are trying to work their way into mainstream again.

I know it's meant to be just humor, but the character Cartman on South Park doesn't help. Because it always starts with making these jokes acceptable, it gets the foot in the door, so to speak.

Good luck dude.

Kafir Alalazoo said...

Thanks for taking the time to read my post, and for your support. I do appreciate it.

However, I could not disagree more with your final comment. I am a huge South Park fan, and in my view, the Cartman character does NOT promote antisemitism, any more than Archie Bunker promoted intolerance and racial bigotry on 'All In The Family'. Both of these characters are meant to parody the ideas they advocate, and to illustrate such thinking is twisted and wrong.

Few people come away from a season of South Park wanting to BE Eric Cartman - fat, obnoxious, bigoted and universally despised by all the other characters in the show. The few who DO find those traits admirable already have deeper issues than anything caused by South Park, and likely enjoy the fact that SOMEONE (even a fictitious cartoon character) agrees with their warped views.