Digital Project-Tracking Antisemitism Blog (Micaela Procopio)

The Holocaust is an incredibly well-known event. Now, it’s practically impossible to meet someone who hasn’t picked up a piece of literature on the Holocaust. The United States alone, has over thirty museums, dedicated to the education and awareness of the Holocaust. A core value of the missions many of these Holocaust museums emphasize is the need to understand the root causes of the Holocaust. Historians are continuing to debate this particular topic but in a small takeaway, the causes of the Holocaust are rooted in the desire of power and intolerance. Once the Holocaust and World War II was over, anti-semitism was not. A few short weeks after liberation, Polish Jewish Holocaust Survivors were attacked in Kielce. This anti-semitic attack against Holocaust survivors has not been the only instance of prejudice against Jewish people.

This digital project will seek to create a timeline of anti-semitic incidents in the United States, while offering an interpretation on those events curated by the author of the site, along with outside individuals as contributors. The project will also include a mapping component of anti-semitic incidents that are appearing in the United States. The project will start at one date, so if this project prevails in the duration of this class, then the incidents will start within 1-3 weeks before and then updated on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The site would operate similar to the work done by Elissa Frankel at the United States Holocaust Museum with her research allowing citizen work. The site author would curate all posts by outside contributors making sure they are appropriate to the mission of the site, as well as being insightful and correct in its information. This allows for a digital collaboration and also helps to balance out the many instances of anti-semitism.

Currently, there are two popular digital systems for antisemitism tracking. The first is the AMCHA Initiative Antisemitism Tracker.[1] The AMCHA is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigating, documenting, educating about and combat antisemitisms in institutions of higher learning in America-particularly focusing on high schools and universities.[2] Their new database documents anti-Semitic incidents in state high schools and universities in the past year. The incidents are organized into three categories: targeting Jewish Students and Staff, Antisemitic Expression and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Activities. This is particularly trying to address anti-Semitic incidents that appear to target Jewish students. The second antisemitism tracker is operated by the Diaspora Ministry, with the intent to detect anti-semitic content on the Internet. The software is called Anti-Semitism Cyber Monitoring System.[3] Its purpose tracks antisemitic posts on social media and can detect how widely the posts have been shared, who is sharing the posts and which cities and countries produce the most antisemitic content. The software uses the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism and monitors posts that are in English, Arabic, French and German on the platforms of Facebook and Twitter.

This digital project will attempt to build a middle ground between these two digital systems. This project will be collaborative and open up interpretation to a variety of users, thus making it easier to analyze and explore different platforms. This project will monitor online media outlets, newspapers, as well as social media. The difference in this project and the prior two systems I’ve mentioned is that the incidents focused on antisemitism are monitored via computer systems and these situations are selected by individuals.

[1] “AMCHA Initiative New Antisemitism Tracker Arrives” AMCHA.

[2] AMCHA is the Hebrew word meaning “Your People” and also connotes “grassroots”, “the masses” and “ordinary people”

[3] “Diaspora Ministry unveils system for tracking online anti-Semitism.” The Times of Israel. Toi Staff. Published 25 January 2018. Accessed 20 February 2018.

One Reply to “Digital Project-Tracking Antisemitism Blog (Micaela Procopio)”

  1. This is an important topic and it’s great to see how you have situated the work in the context of various other ongoing projects.

    It is great that you are thinking about how to create a place for additional writers or authors to contribute. In my experience, it can be rather challenging to get more writers to contribute to a project, so if you do want to focus on doing that it is likely going to take a good bit of time and effort to recruit other authors.

    If I follow right, the plan is to document and describe contemporary examples of anti-semitism starting from around the time you start the blog. There was a point in here where you also mentioned creating a “timeline of anti-semitic incidents in the United States.” My initial sense is that if you did want to focus more broadly on the history of anti-semitic incidents over time in the US that you might have a more straightforward case for how this is a digital history project and you might also find a broader audience for the work. With that said, I can also see some potential arguments for making the site focus strictly on contemporary incidents but then it would be important to just make sure that the historical connections come through in the work you do to contextualize the incidents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *