Number of anti-Semitic posts on Twitter has surged this year, many behind them are Donald Trump supporters

An attendee holds up a sign of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon tied to anti-Semitism and racism that has become an unofficial mascot of the alt-right, during a campaign event with Donald Trump at a sports complex in Bedford, NH.
An attendee holds up a sign of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon tied to anti-Semitism and racism that has become an unofficial mascot of the alt-right, during a campaign event with Donald Trump at a sports complex in Bedford, NH. PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK (AFP) - The number of anti-Semitic posts on Twitter has surged this year, according to a report released on Wednesday that says many of those tweeting are supporters of billionaire Donald Trump.

The Anti-Defamation League, a watchdog for anti-Jewish discrimination, found 2.6 million anti-Semitic tweets in English, posted by 1.7 million accounts from August 2015 to July 2016.

Of those, 19,253 targeted one of the 800 or so journalists identified among the 50,000 referenced in the report. Ten of the journalists, all Jewish, got 83 per cent of the problem tweets, the ADL said.

Many of those tweeting see themselves as Trump surrogates and mention white nationalism.

While there was no evidence any candidate encouraged the tweets, the study shows "targeted anti-Semitic tweets raised the cost of entry into (and staying in) the marketplace of ideas for journalists, particularly Jewish journalists".

 

The report criticised Twitter for not cancelling or suspending offenders' accounts.

Mr Trump himself has used Twitter aggressively and around the clock - unlike any United States presidential candidate to date.