Tweeting the Holocaust: social media discourse between reverence, exploitation, and simulacra

Motti Neiger, Oren Meyers, Anat Ben-David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the uses and abuses of traumatic memory within the context of the multifaceted discursive representation of the Holocaust on social media. Combining computational, quantitative, and qualitative methodologies, the article offers a comprehensive mapping of the mnemonic spectrum extending beyond memory work conducted during official commemorative occasions. To do so, we examined a unique case: the Twitter manifestations of one Hebrew expression—“and their collaborators” (ATC)—which echoes the Israeli “Law for punishing Nazis and their collaborators.” In contrast to the complete phrase, the truncated collocation appears in a variety of contexts across Hebrew Twitter. Thus, our investigation shows that alongside traditional awe-inspiring commemorative (“good”) uses of ATC, the conjunction between social media affordances and user practices brings to the discursive forefront exploitative political (“bad”) ATC uses and misuses that contribute to political polarization; and a plethora of playful and ironic (inappropriate-“ugly”) uses, that call for moral and aesthetic scrutiny.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Communication
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023

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