170,000 anti-Semitic searches made on Google each year in UK — study

New report found sharp rise in number of searches after Labour head Corbyn met with Jewish leaders on anti-Semitism in his party, but some were result of Google autofill

The Google Chrome app is displayed on a smartphone on March 3, 2018, in Berlin, Germany. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images via JTA)
The Google Chrome app is displayed on a smartphone on March 3, 2018, in Berlin, Germany. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images via JTA)

Some 170,000 searches containing anti-Semitic content are made each year in the United Kingdom, according to a new study published Friday.

The report, released by the Community Security Trust and AntiSemitism Policy Trust, said some 10 percent of these searches included violent language or intentions, with “evil” and “racist” being the negative terms most commonly searched in connection to Jews.

However, the number of searches for “Are Jews evil?” dropped by 10% after Google removed the phrase from its autocomplete function, which the study said showed the search giant caused more people to make more anti-Semitic searches than would have otherwise.

Most of the anti-Semitic searches on Google were for jokes about Jews and the report noted that those who looked up Jewish jokes were more likely to also search for racist jokes about other minority groups. Queries with the word “Jewish” were less likely to be anti-Semitic than those with “Jew.”

The area of the UK with the highest number of anti-Semitic searches was Wales, according to the study, while such searches were just as common in cities which primarily vote for the opposition Labour Party as those that mainly support the Conservatives.

Britain’s opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses delegates on the final day of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, England, on September 26, 2018. (AFP Photo/Oli Scarff)

The report recorded a 79% jump in anti-Semitic searches in April, with most of these coming the day after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met with Jewish leaders to discuss rampant anti-Semitism in the party’s ranks.

Labour has grappled with allegations of anti-Semitism under the leadership of Corbyn, who himself has regularly come  under fire for a series on incidents, including his remark about British Zionists not understanding irony, his attendance at a memorial for Palestinian terrorists, and Labour’s reluctance to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‘s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism — a move which, when finally adopted, he unsuccessfully attempted to undermine by seeking a caveat asserting that branding Israel a racist endeavor is not anti-Semitic.

He has also come under fire for his soft treatment of anti-Semitic statements made by party allies.

The study, which included data from 2004 to 2018, also recorded a 25% rise in searches for “Zionism” in April 2016 after former London mayor and Corbyn supporter Ken Livingstone claimed Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler supported Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews.” He was later suspended by Labour over the remarks and quit the party in May.

Other notable findings from the study was that searches for the Rothschilds, a Jewish banking family that is the subject of many conspiracy theories, were higher than for a number of contemporary Jewish celebrities, and that there was a 30% jump in anti-Semitic searches after Israel won last year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

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