The vast majority of antisemitic propaganda today is spread on social media. The massive amount of hate has become an increasing problem and some of it has been linked to offline violence.
How can we begin to map trends and networks comprehensively? How can detection and tracking of antisemitic posts be improved?
We have been encouraged by the results of our international Datathon and Hackathon Competition Antisemitism on Social Media.
Please find a report on the project here. The awards ceremony for all participants included keynotes by professors Lee Feinstein and Elaine Monaghan. You can watch the final presentation and keynotes here. High school and college students from five different countries participated in teams in the “Antisemitism on Social Media Datathon and Hackathon.”
Coached by IU professors Damir Cavar (who should be credited with the idea!) and Gunther Jikeli, they evaluated thousands of tweets, classified the antisemitic posts among them, and trained algorithms that can identify antisemitic posts.
The first prize of $500 went to Jan Fiedler, Sydney Grad, Sophie Mariassy and Victor Tschiskale, students from Canada and Germany.
The second prize of $300 went to Jason O'Connor, Oren Edrich, Noah Galper, Ari Gutmann and Ethan Katz, all from Florida.
The third prize of $200 went to a team of high school students from Bloomington High School South: Katrina Brown, Jacob Hogan, Sam Hall and David Roeder.
A member of the winning team, Jan Fiedler, wrote up his experiences and explains their highly successful approach for the hackathon. Please find his excellent report here.
We will follow up and continue our research in close cooperation with students and hope to further expand our research.
Our core team now includes Daniel Miehling, Denizhan Pak, Jenna Solomon, Pauravi Wagh, and Weejeong Jeong. We hope to be able to recruit new members soon.
Undergraduate students of Gunther Jikeli's class in fall 2020 "Research on Antisemitism in Social Media" will participate in some of the research.
We are now focusing on a "gold standard corpus" of antisemitic posts, evaluated by trained experts. We are using an annotated version of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism so that it can be applied to social media posts. Our reflections can be found in our working paper by Damir Cavar, Gunther Jikeli, and Daniel Miehling here.
Additionally, we look at prominent themes in conversations about Jews and Israel on Twitter, using representative samples from 2019 and 2020.