The Fragility of Freedom: Online Holocaust Denial and Distortion

Authors: Alina Bricman, Guenther Jikeli, Ada Baumkotter, Linus Kebba Pook, Grischa Stanjek, Karolina Placzynta, Yfat Barak-Cheney, Hannah Maman

Editor: Hannah Rose

Published: 26 January 2024

Reflecting on the months since the recent October 7 attack, rarely has the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2024, ‘The Fragility of Freedom’, felt so poignant. Communities globally experienced the shattering of presumed security, and antisemitic incidents responsively spiked.

Antisemitism rose across both mainstream and fringe social media platforms, and communities resultantly reported a rise in insecurity and fear. CCOA constituent countries have recorded significant rises in antisemitic incidents, including an immediate 240% increase in Germany, a three-fold rise in France, and a marked increase in Italy.

The antisemitism landscape, including Holocaust denial and distortion, had shifted so drastically since October 7 that previous assumptions and understands now demand re-examination. In the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day 2024, this research compilation by members of the Coalition to Counter Online Antisemitism offers a vital contemporary examination of the current and emergent issues facing Holocaust denial and distortion online. As unique forms of antisemitism, denial and distortion are a tool of historical revisionism which specifically targets Jews, eroding Jewish experience and threatening democracy.

Across different geographies and knowledge fields, this compilation unites experts around the central and sustained proliferation of Holocaust denial and distortion on social media.

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