(JTA) — Right-wing conspiracy theorists are increasingly claiming that George Soros is funding recent protests and riots across the United States in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, “aggressive language towards Soros has exploded on social media” this week. Negative tweets about the billionaire Jewish philanthropist rose from 20,000 per day on May 26 to 500,000 per day on May 30.
The posts, according to the ADL, mostly allege (without evidence) that Soros is funding riots across the country, and that he is backing Antifa, a loose network of anti-fascist activists whom President Donald Trump has blamed for the violence, also without citing evidence.
The ADL says that the Soros theories “can serve as a gateway to the antisemitic subculture that blames Jews for the riots.”
People posting about Soros include prominent Trump supporters like Twitter pundit Candace Owens and actor James Woods.
Soros, a Hungarian-born financier who funds a variety of liberal causes in the United States and globally, is a favorite bogeyman of the right and conspiracy theorists in particular. Recent Soros conspiracies have alleged that he is driving the spread of COVID-19 in order to profit from a future vaccine and that he pays left-wing protesters.
Trump tweeted in 2018 that Soros paid protesters opposed to Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also put up a billboard campaign in 2017 opposing Soros that was criticized as anti-Semitic.