Jewish lawmakers targeted by anti-Semitic tweets ahead of election: ADL
© Bonnie Cash

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says it has found a “deluge” of anti-Semitic tweets containing offensive tropes and misinformation targeting Jewish lawmakers, according to a new study.

The organization analyzed all tweets during a monthlong period that were directed at 30 incumbent Jewish members of the House and Senate who are up for reelection in November. The ADL found that a “snapshot” taken between July 23 and August 22 included nearly 6,000 tweets “identified as potentially antisemitic.” 

The group labeled 10 percent of the tweets “problematic” for “containing antisemitic content.” Within the category, the social media posts included conspiracy theories linked to billionaire philanthropist George Soros, “explicit antisemitic language,” tropes related to Jewish “power and control” as well as tweets “questioning the loyalty and faith of Jewish incumbents."


“Social media platforms are breeding grounds for hate and antisemitism at a frightening scale, and as very public and sometimes polarizing figures, Jewish members of Congress often experience the worst of this on Twitter,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a Tuesday statement.

“Just looking at a snapshot, we found a growing use of QAnon conspiracy theories and other hateful tropes against Jewish members during this important election year," he continued. 

The study, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, found that the tweets related to Soros, a Holocaust survivor, push conspiracy theories that he is funding careers for Jewish lawmakers, as well as media outlets, the Black Lives Matter movement and more.

The ADL’s first-ever report on Twitter content found that Rep. Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary split on how to address domestic extremism George Floyd police reform bill reintroduced in House Nadler presses DOJ to prosecute all involved in Capitol riot MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) were targeted with the highest number of “problematic” tweets. Other Jewish lawmakers who were targeted include Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBiden's picks face peril in 50-50 Senate Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation Hillicon Valley: Google lifting ban on political ads | DHS taking steps on cybersecurity | Controversy over TV 'misinformation rumor mills' MORE (D-Ore.), Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinDeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes Officer on Capitol riot: 'Is this America? They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags' Considering impeachment's future MORE (D-Md.), Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenHouse subcommittee debates reparations bill for Black Americans House Democrats renew push for checks on presidential pardons Rep. Cohen responds to Denver Post editorial on criticism of Boebert MORE (D-Tenn.) and Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J A-OK, Tanden in Trouble Six ways to visualize a divided America Democrats want businesses to help get LGBT bill across finish line MORE (D-R.I.), among others.

The organization said 15 percent of the tweets identified included tropes related to a slate of conspiracy theories that Jewish people “control key political, financial, and media systems and exploit them for their advantage to the detriment of others.”

The study also found that Twitter had not removed some anti-Semitic tweets that violate the platform’s policies. 

A spokesperson for the social media site told The Hill that anti-Semitic content "has no place on Twitter and is prohibited under our rules on hateful conduct."

“We’re encouraged that this report reflects that we’re taking action and stepping up our work to protect the public conversation, but we know we’ve more to do. We will remain vigilant and welcome feedback," the spokesperson added.

--Updated at 12:33 p.m.