FvD politicians give Antisemitic channels a wider reach: report
Forum voor Democratie (FvD) politicians regularly retweet posts by Twitter accounts that spread anti-Semitic texts and images. The retweets don't often contain anti-Semitic statements, but they do increase the reach of those accounts, researchers at Leiden University concluded, the Volkskrant reports.
The researchers analyzed 100,000 tweets, retweets, and likes by politicians from FvD, BIJ1, D66, DENK, GroenLinks, PVV, and SGP between December 2021 and February 2022. They differentiated between hardcore anti-Semitism, in which tweets are explicitly directed against Jewish people, and diffuse anti-Semitism, which includes anti-Semitic stereotypes, stories, and conspiracy theories.
No Dutch political party posted hardcore anti-Semitic tweets itself, the researchers found. But FvD politicians were five times more likely to share and like tweets by hardcore anti-Semitic accounts than random Twitter users. Over 10 percent of tweets by FvD politicians consist of liking and retweeting posts by diffuse anti-Semitic accounts. For the PVV, that is 2 percent of tweets and less than 1 percent for other parties.
FvD leader Thierry Baudet told the Volkskrant that there is nothing behind his activities on Twitter. "I retweet so much," he said. According to him, his retweets are about the message, not the messenger. "The fact that you should not retweet someone because he also believes unacceptable things is an ad hominem. I, therefore, do not see it as my responsibility to investigate it."