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The idea that “Jews control the media”, also seen in references to “Jewish Controlled Media” and “Zionist Controlled Media” is an antisemitic canard that emerged from antisemitic forgery “The Protocols of the Edlers of Zion”. This antisemitic message is alive and spreading in social media.
The “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are the most notorious work of modern antisemitism. They have “been heralded by anti-Semites as proof that Jews are plotting to take over the world”, the Jewish Virtual Library notes. The protocols are an antisemitic hoax in the form of fake minutes of a meeting of a supposed secret Jewish cabal. The fake minutes describe a plan to achieve world domination.
The earliest form of the Protocols narrative is a 1797 version blaming the French Revolution on a secret conspiracy run by Freemasons. French satirist Maurice Joly used this as the basis of his 1864 pamphlet “Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu”. Joly’s pamphlet was in turn used by Hermann Goedsche, a German antisemite and member of the Prussian Secret Police, who adapted it into a fantasy of a secret rabbinical conference meeting to review their control of the world over the past hundred years and to plans how to control it for the next century. Goedsche work was translated into Russian in 1872 and published as the “Rabbi’s Speech” in Russian in 1891. It was during the Dreyfus affair of 18931895, that the Prussian Secret Police in Paris combined Joly and Goedsche work into a new edition called the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The manuscript was brought to Russia in 1895 and was printed privately in 1897. It gain popularity in English under the name “The International Jew: The World’s Problem” which was published by Henry Ford. Ford was one of the biggest antisemites of his era in addition to being a leading industrialist.
In the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, Protocol 12 is dedicated to the topic of control of the media. In this fake plan, the media must be controlled to the extent that “not a single announcement will reach the public without our control”. The protocols also promote the idea of setting up a fake opposition, also controlled but giving an illusion of a free press. These sorts of arguments in modern debate, particular on social media, are the direct descendants of the protocols. The protocols are still best sellers in many parts of the world, have been turned into TV shows, and are readily found online. There have been some difficulties getting social media companies to recognise and remove online copies of the protocols.