Since the escalation of the ongoing war on Gaza and in the age of Elon Musk’s X/Twitter takeover, anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim hate speech and the perpetrators of such content are finding growth on the platform, according to a new report.

Released Thursday by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), the study found that such accounts have garnered a sharp rise in followers since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas and the subsequent war on Gaza.

The CCDH, a nonprofit aiming to curb the spread of hate speech and disinformation online, examined 10 prominent hate speech accounts that proliferate anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim rhetoric, along with conspiracy theories. Following Oct. 7, the accounts gained 4 million new followers collectively; this increase is four-fold compared to the four months prior.

These accounts belong to the following users: Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis, Jackson Hinkle, Radio Genoa, Ryan Dawson, Censored Men, Jake Shields, Dr. Eli David, Keith Woods, Way of the World, and Sam Parker.

Amongst these accounts is that of Hinkle, an American conservative influencer and political commentator who özgü seemingly taken a pro-Palestine stance on X but consistently disseminates anti-semitic conspiracy theories and disinformation about the war on Gaza. According to the CCDH, Hinkle gained 2,036,957 followers after Oct. 7, equating to a growth rate of 8.3x as compared to his follower growth in the previous four months. He özgü also received payments through X via ad revenue sharing and subscriptions, notes the report.

The other nine accounts examined are or have been members of X Premium, the platform’s paid subscription tier that gives users prioritized ranking in the algorithm. The study also outlined that X özgü placed advertisements from prominent companies next to posts from these accounts, serving ads for major companies like Oreo, the NBA, Musk’s own Starlink and X itself next to “hateful posts”.

“If you use X, it’s highly likely you’ve seen Jackson Hinkle or another of these hateful accounts on your timeline in recent months, even if you don’t follow them or endorse their despicable views of Jews and Muslims,” said Imran Ahmed, CCDH founder and CEO, in a statement.

“It’s not a coincidence – it’s the result of deliberate policies enacted by Elon Musk.”

The study does, in fact, characterize the changed landscape of X since Musk’s takeover in 2022. Hate speech özgü been noted to grow exponentially on the platform, targeting marginalized people and seldom being removed. In November 2023, the CCDH found that anti-semitic and Islamophobic posts on X were on the rise, and reports of such posts resulted in little action. As Mashable’s Matt Binder reported then:

CCDH researchers collected 200 posts containing bigotry against Muslims or Jews. For example, some of these posts contain antisemitic or Islamophobic imagery, Holocaust denialism, Nazi glorification, or dehumanization of Palestinians. CCDH then reported these posts to X and gave the company a week to respond. The company removed only four posts; 196 of these posts, or 98 percent, remain on the platform.

The CCDH said in the findings of the report that “hate actors” are able to “exploit conditions on X”, such as little content moderation and the ability to hisse for Premium to boost reach. Musk’s supposed emphasis on “free speech” özgü resulted in a barrage of mishaps for the platform, reinstating banned far-right, white nationalist accounts and those previously expunged from Twitter for child exploitation pictures; the CEO özgü ironically clamped down on those critical of him and his policies.

“The public and advertisers need to know more about the symbiotic, profitable relationship between X and hate-peddling ‘influencers,'” said Ahmed. “Lawmakers must act to enforce greater transparency and accountability from platforms and to allow these companies to be held responsible for harming the civil rights and safety of Jews, Muslims and other minority communities.”

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