Antisemitic discourses in online media and their reception among Jews in Austria

The internet has become a space where average users are increasingly confronted with antisemitism. However, it is unclear which social groups share these radical and aggressive views, how they influence democratic culture and, last but not least, how Jews deal with antisemitism online. Antisemitism can no longer be clearly located within particular milieus, such as right-wing extremist groups. This project therefore focuses both on an analysis of online content as well as on how various forms of antisemitism (also implicit) are circulated online. It examines antisemitic discourses in selected Austrian online and social media from 2019 until now. Another key focus is on how Jews perceive these discourses: To what extent do they engage with these discourses and how do these affect their daily life in Austria?

The project thus treats affected persons as agents actively dealing with antisemitism (even if they decide, for example, to withdraw from certain media or discussions), highlighting which strategies are applied online and offline to cope with antisemitic discourses. This is important in order not to reduce affected persons to a state of victimhood, but also in order to establish strategies for dealing with online hatred. Antisemitic discourses in Austrian online media are thus the “test-case” through which we can analyse the connection between local, specifically Austrian, and global developments in this context.

Lead Researcher: Ariane Sadjed
Collaborators: Tim Corbett, Yuval Katz-Wilfing (starting with autumn 2023)
Funding: ÖAW
Project duration: 2023/03/01 – 2024/08/31

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