Antisemitism on Social Media

Course Number


Study Group Leader (SGL)

Sabine von Mering


This course will take place virtually on Zoom. Participation in this course requires a device (ideally a computer or tablet, rather than a cell phone) with a camera and microphone in good working order and basic familiarity with using Zoom and accessing email

5-Week Course

Feb. 29 - March 28.


The sharp rise of antisemitic hate that we witnessed in the wake of the terrorist attack on Israel on October 7 of 2023 and Israel’s war against Hamas followed years of warnings that antisemitism was increasing both online and off. Antisemitism on Social Media, published in 2022, documented the role platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram play in the spread of antisemitic hate and misinformation, how this impacts Jewish users, and what experts propose must be done about it. Dubbed “chaos machines” (Max Fisher) or “radicalization machines” (Julia Ebner) social media platforms enable and profit from algorithm-driven antisemitism that differs from traditional forms of antisemitism. In this seminar we look at specific examples to unpack how the platforms spread hate and misinformation and why it leads to increased polarization in society. Participants will learn what experts who study the phenomenon are discovering, and what social media users and civil society can do about it. BOLLI students may not themselves be ardent social media users, but most youth nowadays admit that they are addicted to social media. Indeed, 42 attorney generals are suing Facebook’s mother-company Meta for precisely that reason. In this course you will be equipped to have conversations with your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren about the issue of antisemitism and other forms of hate on social media and what to do about it.  

Group Leadership Style

More facilitated discussion than lecture.

Course Materials

Monika Hübscher and Sabine von Mering, Antisemitism on Social Media. (2022) [excerpts] [Parts 1&2}.

Preparation Time

About 2 hours per week. 


Sabine von Mering, PhD obtained her doctorate at the University of California, Davis, and came to Brandeis in Fall 1998. She is now Professor of German and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Director of the Center for German and European Studies (CGES). This spring she is offering a new undergraduate course on “Antisemitism on Social Media” based on her co-edited volume of the same title. She also just translated Beginning to End the Climate Crisis. A History of Our Future (Brandeis University Press 2022).