Opinion | When Hate Goes Mainstream – The New York Times

eeding this upsurge in hate is the toxic soup of anti-Semitism found online. According to a report that the A.D.L. released just a day before the Pittsburgh attack, far-right extremists and the so-called alt-right have stepped up their efforts on social media to attack and intimidate Jews, and especially Jewish journalists, in the run up to the midterm elections. These radicals engaged in “Twitter bombing” of Jews, barraging our community with an estimated five million highly politicized and anti-Semitic tweets per day. Social media creates its own realities for individuals, where people feed off the anonymity and tailor what they read and whom they speak with so that it can feel that everyone thinks and talks as you do. As much as this is distorting, it also can be empowering. Similarly emboldening is when anti-Semitism and hateful rhetoric is elevated or tolerated, either through appropriating the anti-Semites’ rhetoric outright, “dog-whistling” to them, or allowing their hate to go unanswered. And this is what has accelerated over the past few years. Anti-Semitism is being normalized in public life.