Many Americans were shocked at the anti-Jewish rhetoric on display this month at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. But not IU Bloomington faculty member Günther Jikeli and the students who took his contemporary antisemitism course in spring 2017.
The class spent the semester studying and even responding to online expressions of hate and prejudice in an effort to learn about best practices for combating antisemitism on social media.
"When these fringe groups go public, as in Charlottesville, they were confronted," said Jikeli, visiting associate professor in IU Bloomington's Borns Jewish Studies Program and Justin M. Druck Scholar at the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism. "But on social media, the same messages are unchallenged. They are just disseminated, and they can grow even worse."
As part of the U.S. State Department's Diplomacy Lab initiative, the 15 students in the class conducted original research and produced a 25-page report, titled "Best Practices to Combat Antisemitism for Social Media."