March 31, 2023

This Week in Online Antisemitism: Protests in France

Our team takes a closer look at antisemitic posts surfacing on social media this week that tie President Emmanuel Macron of France to the Rothschild family, alleging that Macron’s pension reform plan is being orchestrated by Jewish people behind the scenes.

90 years ago this week, nearly two months after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, tens of thousands of Jews demonstrated in over 70 locations across the U.S. against Nazi Germany’s treatment of its Jewish citizens. The largest demonstration was held in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

Today, mass demonstrations are taking place across France in protest of President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. These demonstrations have become fertile ground for spreading antisemitic content on social media platforms. This week, CyberWell observed a spike in hateful, anti-Jewish posts implicating Jewish people in the protests in France.

The prevailing antisemitic theory that CyberWell pinpointed was that France, and President Macron in particular, is allegedly controlled by the Rothschild family. A branch of the family has been in France since the beginning of the 19th century when James Mayer de Rothschild established a bank in Paris. As a wealthy and successful Jewish family, the Rothschilds have been the subject of antisemitic conspiracy theories about their finances and perceived influence for centuries.

In posts CyberWell identified this week, users on social media painted President Macron as a puppet doing the bidding of the Rothschild family, supposedly because he worked for the Rothschild company in the past. 

Screenshot of an antisemitic Tweet tying President Emmanuel Macron of France to the famous Jewish family, the Rothschilds, implying that the Rothschilds are manipulating Macron.

Screenshot of an antisemitic Tweet calls President Emmanuel Macron of France a "minion" of the Rothschilds, a wealthy and successful Jewish family.

The antisemitic dog whistle term “bankers” was also used to suggest that the Jewish people in general exercise outsized influence over world governments.

Screenshot of an antisemitic Tweet alleges that President Emmanuel Macron of France is being influenced by "bankers," an antisemitic dog whistle for Jewish people in general.

Rothschild conspiracy theories and tropes about Jewish people allegedly controlling the world or dominating the world order are two of the leading types of antisemitism CyberWell identified through our monitoring in 2022.

As of this writing, all posts featured above are still online, earning views, likes, and clicks despite our reporting them to the social media platforms for review and removal.

While demonstrations are an important tool for expressing freedom of speech — whether the demonstrations against Nazi Germany 90 years ago or today’s protests against pension reform in France — we must take action to stop the hate speech that is propagated through them.

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