The Montclair State University School of Communication and Media and the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (ISCA) at Indiana University have released reports highlighting the rise of hate speech and antisemitism on the social media platform, Twitter, since its acquisition by businessman and billionaire Elon Musk. The report, Hate Speech Spikes on Twitter After Elon Musk Acquires the Platform, performed an analysis of Twitter data to answer two key questions:
- Did Musk’s acquisition of Twitter correlate to an immediate spike in epithets directed at marginalized groups?
- How many Twitter posts made use of those terms immediately before and after Musk’s acquisition?
In ISCA’s Conversations About Jews on Twitter: Recent Developments Since Elon Musk’s Takeover, an examination of Twitter conversations in 2022 showed the number of conversations about Jews and antisemitism, both denouncing and promoting it, more than doubled immediately before and after Musk formalized his position as owner and Chief Executive Officer on October 28, 2022.
While the future character of the platform is unknown, it is clear that Twitter’s change in ownership has emboldened users to post anti-Semitic and hateful speech.