(January 11, 2019 / JNS) Approximately 170,000 Google searches in the United Kingdom annually are anti-Semitic with 10 percent of them consisting of violent keywords such as “kill Jews” and “Jews must die,” according to a report.
The study, commissioned jointly by the Community Security Trust and the Antisemitism Policy Trust, said that while the majority of these searches are for anti-Semitic jokes, the most usual negative stereotypes accuse Jews of being “racist” and “evil.” These searches usually spiked between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., with the searches more in Wales than in any other part of the United Kingdom.
A year after Google revised its autocorrect function to stop the “word” evil popping up after someone types “are Jews,” a 10 percent decrease occurred in the number of such searches, according to the research.
The study also found that anti-Semitic searches are as high in cities where the majority vote for the U.K. Labour Party, led by the anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, as they are in cities where the majority vote for the U.K. Conservative Party. Someone looking up jokes about Jewish people is 100 times more likely to search for jokes about those who are black, using the “N”-word.
“We found evidence of the rise in popularity of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories … and we found that sometimes heightened media focus on Jews or Israel, even if it is positive, can still lead to an increase in online searches for anti-Semitic content,” the author of the report, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, told The Guardian.
Dave Rich, the head of policy, told the outlet: “Search engines and Internet companies have a responsibility to ensure that people asking these questions are directed away from hateful content and towards material that might challenge their prejudices.”
A Google spokesperson told The Guardian that it “does its best to prevent inappropriate predictions,” and that it partners with “organizations in the United Kingdom who work to tackle hate speech, including CST and Stop Hate UK. Autocomplete helps you get to the information you are looking for as quickly as possible. For certain issues, including hateful predictions against groups and individuals based on religion, we have developed policies to exclude such terms.”