Exploring political topics that connect to antisemitism on Twitter: U.S. midterm Pennsylvania gubernatorial race 2022

Authors

  • Gabrielle Beacken University of Texas at Austin

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v29i5.13376

Keywords:

antisemitism, social media, political communication, elections, conspiracy theory, platformed antisemitism, propaganda

Abstract

Online antisemitism rears its head during times of political instability, especially during contentious elections. This paper uses the 2022 Pennsylvania Gubernational governor race as a case study to examine what political topics spur antisemitic expression on Twitter. Both rich political and antisemitism discourses are offered by this election that featured a Jewish Democrat candidate Josh Shapiro and far-right Republican candidate Doug Mastriano. Over 800 tweets were qualitatively analyzed through critical discourse analysis to understand both Shapiro’s political tweets and the antisemitic reply tweets. This study addresses the gap of what online political contexts leads to instances of antisemitism on Twitter during political elections. Grounded in antisemitism and political propaganda literature, this study shows that particularly controversial topics of abortion rights and extremism in politics led to the highest amount of antisemitic expression. Dominantly, Jewish political control conspiracies were used as simple explanations for particularly turbulent political topics.

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Published

2024-05-07

How to Cite

Beacken, G. (2024). Exploring political topics that connect to antisemitism on Twitter: U.S. midterm Pennsylvania gubernatorial race 2022. First Monday, 29(5). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v29i5.13376

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Section

Articles