The spread of and fear generated by the coronavirus has led extremists to promote conspiracy theories and share their anti-Semitic views, the Anti-Defamation League said.
It also has fomented racism against the Chinese and calls for a halt to immigration to the United States, the post to the ADL’s website said.
“Finally! Science has discovered a cure for the most insidious disease of our time … Jewishness,” wrote one extremist on the encrypted instant messaging service Telegram, according to the ADL. The same person also referred to a news report that three Israelis were quarantined as possible coronavirus carriers with the message “3 down, 5,999,997 to go!”
Posts linking the coronavirus to racist and anti-Semitic slurs and memes also are found on 4chan and Gab. One 4chan user wrote, “Send the sick to Israel – if you already die at least take out as many Jews as you can.”
In addition, extremists are using the coronavirus spread to advance their anti-Semitic theories that Jews are responsible for creating the virus and are spreading it to increase their control or profiting from it.
- Anti-Semitic Facebook page shut down after months of activity and complaints
- Anti-Semitic incidents in U.K. at all-time high, increasing for 4th year in a row
- 'No entry for Chinese:' Fears of coronavirus trigger anti-China sentiment worldwide
Meanwhile, users on mainstream platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Reddit are circulating conspiracy theories. One says that coverage of the coronavirus is a hoax and distraction designed to frighten the public. Another says its impact is far worse than authorities want people to think.