Tuesday, September 19, 2017

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

The earliest story I could find about the "#GasTheSynagogue" hashtag was in Haaretz on September 17:

With violence breaking out between protesters and police in riot gear on the streets of a Missouri city, the Central Reform Congregation of St. Louis opened its doors on the Jewish Sabbath to provide sanctuary to those caught up in the confrontation.
As penned-in protesters piled in, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police reportedly surrounded the synagogue and prepared to fire tear gas at those who had taken refuge within. The night's goings-on being widely shared live on social media, a Twitter hashtag calling for the police to breach the Jewish house of worship began to trend: #GasTheSynagogue.
This story was picked up and repeated in other media as if there were hundreds of Nazi Tweeters all calling to gas the St. Louis synagogue.

I could only find a couple of these tweets before the backlash. And I don't think Twitter removed any.

The first one was not a call to gas the synagogue, but a fake news story that the White House told the police to gas the synagogue.

This was followed two minutes later with a more direct call also based on what appears to be a fake news story:

Note that these tweets went nowhere..

Then, the originator - who is clearly an antisemite based on his timeline - pretended that the hashtag he created was trending in a tweet that is supposedly horrified by this fact:

This was only nine minutes after his original tweet.

But this "reaction" to his own hashtag did get traction and as far as I can tell, all the reactions afterwards came from this manufactured set of tweets.

And the media fell for it.

A single person "RightWing Love Squad" managed, in the space of ten minutes, to create the impression that there was a whole lot of Nazis tweeting an offensive hashtag that he himself originated.

The result? Now everyone thinks that there are a huge number of Nazis in America. All because of one asshole and a lazy reporter who knows that the offensive hashtag "#GasTheSynagogue"  will get lots of links and advertising dollars for his or her news site.

I could not find a single list on Twitter that said that this hashtag was "trending." It was a manufactured story.

Since the election, the media loves Nazi stories because they can implicitly link them to Trump and blame him for the most sickening neo-Nazi excesses. (There were plenty of neo-Nazi marches during the Obama administration, but they received far less coverage.) 

So fact-checking goes out the window.

Like it or not, this year the media has been complicit in giving oxygen and vastly inflating the importance of the tiny number of neo-Nazis in the US.

Which, in turn, makes the Nazis look like they are far more numerous and powerful than they are.

Meaning that the very people who claim to be upset over Nazis are empowering them.

So which is more dangerous: a few haters who spew their bile in the dark recesses of the Internet where no one notices them, or major publications pretending that there is a wave of hate - and giving them millions of dollars of free publicity, where they can recruit more losers?

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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