The Internet and social networks have promoted the spread and radicalization of antisemitism − across the board, all facets of antisemitism can be found.
As soon as “the Jews” are assigned the role of the guilty ones by many mutually reinforcing digital users − be it with regard to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the 2007 financial and economic crisis, global warming, or the 2015 arrival of refugees − this can have fatal consequences. The apppeal of antisemitic worldviews increases especially in times of crisis, when collective fears and feelings of powerlessness (re)activate the need for simple explanatory models and scapegoats.
The “Happy Merchant” meme, also known as Jew-bwa-ha-ha.gif is a derogatory caricature of a stereotypical Jewish man using signifiers such as a kippah, long nose, full beard, malicious smile and the rubbing of hands, suggesting nefarious plans, for an antisemitic image. Posted on image boards where politics is discussed, such as 4chan/pol, it is used to spread antisemitic ideas.