Adam Levick of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs has just released a report entitled Anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism in Progressive U.S. Blogs/News Websites: Influential and Poorly Monitored.
These are the report’s main findings:
Sixty-seven percent of the worldwide internet population visit social networking sites and blogs (web 2.0). These are now outpacing email in popularity. According to Nielsen Online they have become the fourth most popular online category. The popularity of political blogs is increasing as traditional media struggle to stay afloat.
The three most popular progressive political blogs in the United States are Huffington Post, Salon, and Daily Kos. These three together have over thirteen million unique visitors per month.
Within these three blogs a number of historical anti-Semitic staples appear frequently: excessive Jewish power and control over society/government; Jewish citizens are more loyal to Israel than to their own country; Israel resembles Nazi Germany; Israel is demonized.
In part because of the huge size of the blogosphere – there are thousands of bloggers at Daily Kos alone – such hateful commentary often escapes the kind of scrutiny that the traditional media faces. A major challenge is that anonymity provides bloggers with moral impunity.
In the section of the report dealing with the Huffington Post, Levick writes:
Explicitly anti-Semitic remarks on the comments section of Huffington Post, the largest political online magazine on the web, became so severe that the media watchdog group CAMERA issued a comprehensive report titled “Has Huffington Post Become a Magnet for Israel Haters?” The report demonstrates that articles about Israel, whatever their specific topic or ideological position, often generate a barrage of unsubstantiated charges as well as ad hominem attacks against dissenting commenters. “A dedicated crowd of anti-Israel commenters” seem to be on permanent alert for articles dealing with Israel. Accusations against Jews and Israel, popular among political fringe groups, are leveled routinely.
Sounds like a familiar problem.
For more, read the whole thing here.
And if you want to explore more on the subject, the JCPA published a report last year by Andre Oboler Online Antisemitism 2.0.
Hat tip: Solomania