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Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials

Authors:

Abstract

In this report, we present the findings of a survey which was aimed at investigating if and how a large sample of Holocaust museums and memorials use Social Media (SM) in their communication channels. The findings reported in this study reflect the responses of 69 Holocaust museums and memorials from across the world. The most representative countries are Germany (36.2%), the United States of America (13.0%), Italy (10.1%), Austria (5.8%) and Poland (5.8%). The institutions vary widely in age, ranging from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and Památník Terezín, established in 1947, to the most recent KL Plaszow Museum and Memorial in Krakow, opened in 2021. In terms of type, they are mostly Memorial Sites (54%), Holocaust Museums (38%) and Former Concentration Camps (41%), but War and Military and Virtual museums are also included in the sample. Almost all the institutions have a website (99%) and 61 out of 69 (88%) reported using SM as a communication channel. Key Findings • Attitudes towards social media are globally positive, with 96% of respondents that consider SM beneficial for the museum/memorial and an important means for outreach (91%). While respondents consider SM a worthwhile investment (83%), they also expressed a need for dedicated resources to be set aside for SM (72%), with 54% reporting that SM require more resources than the museum can currently afford. • 59% of the institutions using SM have been doing so for over three years. • The Museums/memorials that use SM tend to concentrate on a few platforms. Facebook is the most frequently used (87% use it daily or weekly), followed by Instagram (62%, daily and weekly use) and Twitter (45%, daily and weekly use). • 48% of the institutions have an internal SM manager, while only 10% use an external SM Manager. In 31% of cases, the Director is in charge of social media profiles. Persons in charge of SM profiles have specific expertise in SM management or marketing only in 38% of cases. . • In terms of SM content, the institutions tend to publish mainly educational material (80%), to use SM for sharing information about activities and initiatives (74%) and to organise educational events (70%) often or very often. • 90% of the respondents reported that their institution follows the SM profile of other museums/memorials and 67% declared that they draw inspiration from those profiles. • Only 30% reported the intention to change their SM policies and strategies, mostly to diversify content according to the nature of the different platforms, to develop specific content for SM, to increase the number of platforms used, and to improve strategies and interaction with followers/fans. • As for changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, 89% reported pandemic-induced changes in various activities. Most institutions have increased the number of online events (79%), the frequency of posting (75%), and the variety of contents (74%). Other activities such as fundraising campaigns (80%) and contests/competitions (79%) have remained constant, while training on SM marketing has only increased in 25% of cases.
Project funded by
Grant # 2020-792
https://www.holocaust-socialmedia.edu
Use of Social Media by
Holocaust Museums and
Memorials
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
2
Stefania Manca
RESEARCH TEAM
Stefania Manca, Institute of Educational Technology, Italian Nation Research Council
Ilaria Bortolotti, Department of Psychology of Developmental and Socialisation Processes,
Sapienza University of Rome
Davide Capperucci, Department of Education, Languages, Intercultures, Literatures and
Psychology, University of Florence
Silvia Guetta, Department of Education, Languages, Intercultures, Literatures and Psychology,
University of Florence
Susanne Haake, Department of Media Education, University of Education Weingarten
Donatella Persico, Institute of Educational Technology, Italian Nation Research Council
Martin Rehm, Institute of Educational Consulting, University of Education Weingarten
How to cite: Manca, S. (2021). Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials. IHRA Project
Report. https://holocaust-socialmedia.eu/wp-content/uploads/Report-Survey_museums.pdf
2021
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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CONTENTS
Executive summary ........................................................................................................................................ 5
Introduction..................................................................................................................................................... 7
Methodology ................................................................................................................................................... 8
Results .............................................................................................................................................................. 9
profile of museums and memorials ......................................................................................................... 10
profile of respondents ............................................................................................................................... 11
Communication channels ......................................................................................................................... 12
Attitudes towards Social Media ............................................................................................................... 13
Social Media management ........................................................................................................................ 15
Social Media content ................................................................................................................................. 18
Social Media networking .......................................................................................................................... 20
COVID-19 pandemic ................................................................................................................................. 23
Final comments .......................................................................................................................................... 25
Conclusions ................................................................................................................................................... 27
References ...................................................................................................................................................... 27
Appendix. The survey .................................................................................................................................. 29
List of institutions that responded to the survey ....................................................................................... 39
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This report has been developed within the project "Countering Holocaust distortion on
social media. Promoting the positive use of Internet social technologies for teaching and
learning about the Holocaust", funded under the 2020 IHRA Grant Projects Program -
IHRA Grant # 2020-792; IHRA Grant Strategy 2019-2023, line 2 “Countering distortion”.
We thank our survey respondents.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials” is released under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY NC SA 4.0).
Report available at https://holocaust-socialmedia.eu/results/
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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EX EC U TI VE SUMMARY
In this report, we present the findings of a survey which was aimed at investigating if and how a large
sample of Holocaust museums and memorials use Social Media (SM) in their communication channels.
The findings reported in this study reflect the responses of 69 Holocaust museums and memorials from
across the world. The most representative countries are Germany (36.2%), the United States of America
(13.0%), Italy (10.1%), Austria (5.8%) and Poland (5.8%).
The institutions vary widely in age, ranging from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and
Památník Terezín, established in 1947, to the most recent KL Plaszow Museum and Memorial in
Krakow, opened in 2021. In terms of type, they are mostly Memorial Sites (54%), Holocaust Museums
(38%) and Former Concentration Camps (41%), but War and Military and Virtual museums are also
included in the sample.
Almost all the institutions have a website (99%) and 61 out of 69 (88%) reported using SM as a
communication channel.
Key Findings
Attitudes towards social media are globally positive, with 96% of respondents that consider SM
beneficial for the museum/memorial and an important means for outreach (91%). While
respondents consider SM a worthwhile investment (83%), they also expressed a need for
dedicated resources to be set aside for SM (72%), with 54% reporting that SM require more
resources than the museum can currently afford.
59% of the institutions using SM have been doing so for over three years.
The Museums/memorials that use SM tend to concentrate on a few platforms. Facebook is the
most frequently used (87% use it daily or weekly), followed by Instagram (62%, daily and
weekly use) and Twitter (45%, daily and weekly use).
48% of the institutions have an internal SM manager, while only 10% use an external SM
Manager. In 31% of cases, the Director is in charge of social media profiles. Persons in charge of
SM profiles have specific expertise in SM management or marketing only in 38% of cases. .
In terms of SM content, the institutions tend to publish mainly educational material (80%), to
use SM for sharing information about activities and initiatives (74%) and to organise educational
events (70%) often or very often.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
6
90% of the respondents reported that their institution follows the SM profile of other
museums/memorials and 67% declared that they draw inspiration from those profiles.
Only 30% reported the intention to change their SM policies and strategies, mostly to diversify
content according to the nature of the different platforms, to develop specific content for SM, to
increase the number of platforms used, and to improve strategies and interaction with
followers/fans.
As for changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, 89% reported pandemic-induced changes
in various activities. Most institutions have increased the number of online events (79%), the
frequency of posting (75%), and the variety of contents (74%). Other activities such as
fundraising campaigns (80%) and contests/competitions (79%) have remained constant, while
training on SM marketing has only increased in 25% of cases.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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INTR ODUC TION
Digital technologies and social media platforms have been used in museum communication for over a
decade now, and Holocaust museums and memorials have increasingly adopted them for
commemoration purposes and provision of educational content. Holocaust museums, memorials and
remembrance centres are the most notable entities responsible for preserving the memory of the
Holocaust, and are key institutions for implementing Holocaust and global citizenship education.
Museums and memorials play a significant role as “lieux de mémoire” (Nora, 1989) - whether physical
or virtual - in strengthening the presence of the past and specific experiential connections to the past
(Ebbrecht-Hartmann, 2020). However, very little research has been conducted on the extent to which
social media are used in Holocaust memory and Holocaust education, also because the two fields still
rely on separate areas of research (Manca, 2021a).
While existing research has yielded interesting results on remarkable individual institutions (Dalziel,
2016; Lundrigan, 2020; Manca, 2021b; Manikowska, 2020; Wight, 2020; Zalewska, 2017), or on small
samples of Holocaust entities (Manca, 2019; Rehm, Manca, & Haake, 2020), there is a need to investigate
how a broader sample of Holocaust museums and memorials of different size engage in social media.
In this study, we adopt the broad concept of “Holocaust Museum” as defined by the Encyclopaedia
Britannica: “any of several educational institutions and research centres dedicated to preserving the
experiences of people who were victimized by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust
(193345). Among the victims were Jews, Roma, homosexuals, Christians who helped to hide Jews, and
people with physical and developmental disabilities.” (Parrott-Sheffer, 2019: n.a.). The museums and
memorials sampled here cover a variety of commemorative entities involved in preserving the memory
of the Holocaust and of the crimes committed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
In this report, we present the findings of a survey which was aimed at investigating if and how a large
sample of Holocaust museums and memorials use social media in their communication channels. The
survey explores attitudes, benefits, challenges and modalities of using social media. A specific section
is devoted to exploring if and how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting modes of commemoration and
education on social media.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
8
METHODOLOGY
A questionnaire was developed from previous studies and based on indications available on the social
media profiles and websites of the institutions involved. In particular, Booth, Ogundipe and Røyseng
(2020) provided the basis for exploring attitudes towards the organisational change required by the use
of social media, while the study by Samaroudi, Rodriguez Echavarria and Perry (2020) provided
insights into changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The questionnaire consists of 22 items of various nature (multiple choice questions, Likert Scale
questions, short open-ended questions), grouped into three main sections. The first section collects
background information about the museum/memorial and its communication channels; the second
section investigates the museum/memorial’s experience in social media use; and the third section is
dedicated to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the museum/memorial’s activities.
Only the Museums/Memorials that declared they use social media were asked to answer the questions
in the second and third sections. However, participants were encouraged to engage at least in the first
part of the survey in order to collect information on the possible reasons why social media are not
currently used.
A sample of 203 museums and memorials were selected from the International Directory of Holocaust
Organizations of the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)
(https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/overview-holocaust-related-organizations) and
were invited to take part in a survey.
The survey was implemented online through LimeSurvey (http://www.limesurvey.org/), an open-
source platform, and the invitations to fill in the questionnaire were sent via email by the software to
the selected institutions. Data were collected in the period between 12th February and 22nd April 2021.
The 69 institutions that responded correspond to 34.0% of the sample.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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RESULTS
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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PROFILE OF MUSEUMS AND MEMORIAL S
Argentina
1.4
Austria
5.8
Canada
1.4
Croatia
1.4
Czech Republic
1.4
France
4.3
Germany
36.2
Guatemala
1.4
Israel
2.9
Italy
10.1
Netherlands
2.9
Norway
4.3
Poland
5.8
Serbia
2.9
South Africa
1.4
Turkey
1.4
United States of America
13.0
Uruguay
1.4
100.0
In terms of age, the median is 28 years, with the oldest museums established in 1947 (The Auschwitz-Birkenau
State Museum, Památník Terezín), 1952 (Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen) and 1953 (Centro Recordatorio del
Holocausto de Uruguay, Yad Vashem The World Holocaust Remembrance Center), and the youngest in 2019
(Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum) and 2021 (KL Plaszow Museum and Memorial in Krakow).
Holocaust Museum; 26
Holocaust Site; 7
Former Concentration
Camp; 28 Memorial Site; 37
War and Military
Museum; 3
History Museum; 27
House Museum; 2
Virtual Museum; 4
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Type of museum/memorial
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
11
PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS
The questionnaire respondents were from the most diverse backgrounds and most had been working for their
reference institution for no more than 10 years (64%).
Other includes diverse and multiple roles such as PR manager; Head of Communications; Project Manager;
Chairwoman; Press Officer; Educator and Social Media Manager; Administrator; President; Archivist, Historian
and Social Media Manager; Director Digital Department; Program Officer and Social Media Officer; Events and
Social Media Manager; Organizational Secretariat.
3
6
21
5
3
9
1
3
6
12
0 5 10 15 20 25
Archivist/Conservator/Registrar
Curator
Director
Docent/Educator
Historian
Public Relations Officer
Guide
Volunteer
Social Media Manager
Other
Role of respondents
Less than 3
35%
3 to 10
29%
11 to 20
24%
21 to 30
9%
More than 30
3%
Years working for the museum/memorial
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
“Other” encompasses Magazine, Brochures, App giving access to virtual tour of the permanent exhibition and
outdoor facility, Digital Conferences.
61
57
51
68
5
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
In-person events (e.g. workshops, conferences, etc.)
Traditional media channels (TV, radio,
newspapers)
Mailing list
Website
Other
Yes
88%
No
12%
Use of Social Media
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
13
AT TITUDES TOWARDS SOCIAL MEDIA
1
1
1
0
39
46
6
0
6
13
3
0
51
1
3
1
1
1
38
33
7
3
14
10
9
4
26
1
0
12
6
10
16
14
14
13
26
41
30
13
16
23
36
39
28
32
6
6
42
41
32
20
19
46
6
33
59
46
64
57
1
0
30
43
22
16
39
36
1
41
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
If the museum uses social media, the museum will benefit in the
future
Social media is a welcome change for the museum
Social media is an important means for museum outreach
Museums need to have a defined social media policy
Social media distracts museum’s resources from its primary
function
Digital media has usurped the role of museums
The museum has to set aside dedicated resources for social
media
Social media provide museums with the freedom to try new
things
Social media requires more resources than the museum can
currently employ on them
We want our museum to have the best social media presence,
compared to all other museums
We are eager to support innovative social media projects at our
museum
Expending resources on social media communication is a
worthwhile investment
Any time spent by the museum’s communication department on
social media would be better used elsewhere
Museums should use social media to counter Holocaust
distortion
How much you agree or disagree (%)
Strongly disagree Moderately disagree Neither agree nor disagree Moderately agree Strongly agree
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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In terms of attitudes towards social media, the questionnaire revealed that the majority considers SM beneficial
for the museum/memorial (96%), a welcome change for the museum (86%), an important means for outreach
(91%), a way to provide museums with the freedom to try new things (84%), and that spending resources on
social media communication is a worthwhile investment (83%). Respondents also indicated that
museums/memorials have to set aside dedicated resources for SM (72%), with 54% reporting that SM require
more resources than the museum can currently afford. However, only 7% agreed that SM diverted museum
resources from their primary function and only 6% that digital media has usurped the role of museums, or that
any time spent by the museum’s communication department on SM would be better used elsewhere (8%).
Respondents are also eager to support innovative SM projects at their institutions (58%), while they are uncertain
about the value of having the best SM presence when compared to all other museums (36%). Finally, 88% agree
that museums/memorials need to have a defined social media policy and 74% that they should use SM to counter
Holocaust distortion.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
The following section shows the answers provided by 61 museums/memorials that have declared they use social
media.
up to 3
years
41%
more
than 3
years
59%
How long has your Museum/Memorial been
using social media?
0
21
39
11
98
92
92
75
100
67
7
11
7
30
0
7
7
13
0
7
7
5
8
38
2
2
0
2
0
16
43
33
21
16
0
0
2
8
0
8
44
30
25
5
0
0
0
2
0
2
020 40 60 80 100 120
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
YouTube
Tik Tok/Snapchat
Pinterest
Flickr
LinkedIn
Tumblr
Blog
How often does your Museum/Memorial use the following
social media platforms? (%)
Never Rarely Monthly Weekly Daily
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
16
Facebook is the most frequently used platform, with 43% using Facebook at least weekly and 44% reporting
daily use. The second most frequently used platform is Instagram, with 33% reporting weekly use and 30% daily
use. The third platform, Twitter, is used weekly by 21% and daily by 25% of the respondents. Other SM platforms
are YouTube, with 38% of monthly use, and Blog, with 16% of monthly use. Platforms such as LinkedIn (25%),
Pinterest (8%), Flickr (8%) and Snapchat/TikTok (2%) are only used in a very small number of cases.
Two institutions reported they prefer Vimeo to YouTube, while one declared it uses TripAdvisor and another
declared it uses Medium.
People in charge of maintaining social media pages and their content belong to a wide variety of internal and
external figures: 48% of institutions have an internal SM manager, while only 10% use an external SM Manager.
In 31% of cases, the Director is in charge of social profiles, while Volunteers and Public Relations Officers are
employed in 25% of cases respectively.
“Other” corresponds to:
PR manager
Fundraiser
Marketing and communication coordinator
48
10
13
15
31
20
3
20
25
5
25
11
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Internal Social Media Manager
External Social Media Manager
Archivist/Conservator/Registrar
Curator
Director
Docent/Educator
Exhibit Designer/Graphic Designer/Preparator
Historian
Public Relations Officer
Guide
Volunteer
Other
Who is in charge of the social media profiles/pages and contents
of the Museum/Memorial? (%)
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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Pedagogy department
Communication officer
Program officer
Event manager
Respondents reported that only in 38% of cases persons in charge of SM profiles have specific expertise in SM
management or marketing.
Yes
38%
No
62%
Do these persons have specific expertise in social media
management/marketing?
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
Museums and Memorials tend to publish educational contents (80%), to use SM to share information about
activities and initiatives (74%) and to organise educational events (70%) often or very often. A less frequent
2
3
2
13
23
52
5
7
7
25
28
16
13
20
18
39
30
21
36
36
41
15
11
8
44
34
33
8
8
2
010 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Educational contents
Educational events
Museum/Memorial activities and service communications
Material intended to counter Holocaust distortion
Hashtags campaigns
Fundraising campaigns
To what extent does your Museum/Memorial publish the following contents on
social media? (%)
Never Rarely Sometimes Often Very often
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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activity is the publication of material intended to counter Holocaust distortion (39%, sometimes). Hashtag
campaigns are conducted sometimes or rarely by 57%, and Fundraising campaigns on SM are undertaken by
less than half of the institutions (48%).
Other types of content that the Museums/Memorials publish but which are not included in the list are detailed
below:
Information about upcoming book-releases and/or books/pamphlets that the museum makes and/or sells
in our museum shop and online
Tolerance, social inclusion, racism, genocide, massive violence prevention
Participative elements (e.g., to find out what people are interested in for the planning of future events)
School resources for learners and educators
Remembrance days and celebration (national and international)
Cultural events if connected with our partner organisations and dedicated to the topic of National
Socialism
Reading suggestions and miscellaneous
Links to articles, images from the exhibition, information about other branches of our Museum and their
activity
Public intervention in historical-political disputes
Surveys, Ask-us-anything-offers
Reports on visitors of the 2nd and 3nd generation from home and abroad in the memorial, reports from
interns, references to articles or contributions newspapers, radio or television, notes and reports on Neo-
Nazi activities in the region, reports on cooperation with other memorials or institutions, visits from
politicians, scientists and others, notices and advertisements on our volunteer positions,
commemorations.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
20
SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKING
90% of the respondents reported that their institution follows the SM profiles of other museums/memorials and
67% declared they draw inspiration from those profiles.
Yes
90%
No
10%
Does your Museums/Memorial follow other
Museums/Memorials social accounts?
Yes
67%
No
33%
Does your Museum/Memorial draw inspiration from
other Museums/Memorials’ social media profiles/pages ?
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
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Only 30% reported the intention to change their policies and strategies in SM use. The following reasons to
change policies and strategies were expressed:
To accompany the opening of the new museum in 2023
As social media evolves, it is important to evolve our policies and strategies for social media
Currently working on different types of content for different platforms. Where we used to post mostly educational
content (personal stories). I would like to inform more about our 'invisible work' such as our collection (not
displayed) and our databases etc. Also we never post about the organisations recent history, so I would like to tell
more about the museums history too. I am planning to think more about what to post on what platform
Creating better web sites
The strategy of communication should be more fluent and focused on educational activity, less informative
Trying to develop more social media specific content
Social Media strategies constantly develop
We plan to extend our activity to other social media platforms
We plan to intensify social media presence
oh, not so easy to describe... the importance of newsletters and emails has decreased. Thanks to social media, we
have a target group that extends far beyond our local region, and we recognize their connection to our memorial.
That is why we are now also planning more complex media offers to reach these people (podcast; film documents
and plays as well)
Try to intensify use of Social Media
We are in the process of hiring an external company to run social media
The Corona crisis taught us to use social media more
Yes
30%
No
70%
Does your Museum/Memorial intend to change its
policies/strategies in the use of social media?
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
22
We would like to have more local fans, who will be able to come to our onsite activities, because a large share of likes
on FB come from tourists all over the world
Tik Tok, having a permanent strategy on social media
Enabling own event formats via Facebook and Instagram
We just founded a Social Media group to develop a strategy for regular posting of activities and campaigns. We
want a strategy to develop activities that fit each communication channel and complete the other channels. This
year’s campaign for the camps liberation anniversary is supported by a media company, so we are planning
activities like a crisis management workshop which prepares us for hate speech and history distortion in case it
appears. Until now, holocaust distortion or history distortion was nothing for the memorial. Hopefully, our Social
Media activities get boosted by this year’s liberation campaign
More posts and more contact with users
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
23
COVID-19 PANDEMIC
As for changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, 89% reported pandemic-induced changes in activity.
Yes
89%
No
11%
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, has your
Museum/Memorial changed its activity on social media?
3
7
7
2
2
5
5
2
3
54
18
20
20
49
80
79
52
72
43
75
74
79
49
15
16
46
25
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Number of profiles
Frequency of posting
Variety of contents
Online events
SM campaigns
Fundraising campaigns
Contests/Competitions
Interactions with fans/followers
Training on SM marketing
To what extent the Museum/Memorial has increased or
decreased the following activities during the COVID-19 pandemic
(%)
Decreased Unchanged Increased
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
24
Institutions have increased the number of online events (79%), the frequency of posting (75%), the variety of
contents (74%), the campaigns (49%), the interaction with fans/followers (46%), and the number of SM profiles
(43%). Activities such as Fundraising campaigns (80%) and Contests/Competitions (79%) have remained
unchanged. Training on SM marketing has only increased in 25% of cases.
Other activities that have changed include:
Increased number of online photo exhibitions, increased number of articles published
We planned a participative tool on our commemoration website for visitors, for technical reasons it ended up as
merely a guest book instead of a virtual visit with a commemorative gesture. We developed the pilot of a virtual
visit in a 3D reconstruction for remote desktop use from the tablet application we use onsite.
In person presentations and events
Face to face visits
Our digital activities have increased overall because of the pandemic and strict regulations
Virtual speaker presentations have increased
Video conferences with other memorials
The Museum was closed. Beforehand there were no online events, now we have had at least some
Creation of digital work materials for school classes
Number of physical visits to the Museum decreased during the Covid-19 pandemic
Development of online video and print resources for learners and educators. The Holocaust, lessons for humanity,
eugenics and pseudoscience are included in the national school curriculum and resources have been created to enable
learners and educators to continue learning about the subject matter
Together with our colleagues in [anonymised content] we are launching the nationwide /European social media
campaign #[ anonymised content]
Renewal of offices, some rooms of the museum, renewal of websites, digitization, purchase of digitization machinery,
historical research, etc.
Online conferences
Research, digitization
Surveys on audience development
The number of visits to the [anonymised content] has drastically decreased. On the whole, connections and dialogue
with distant territories have increased, and the use of platforms for initiatives has given people who would hardly
have been able to follow the initiatives the opportunity to participate.
Decreased of course on site educational programs, live events, support of researchers onsite, increased: internal
Zoom meetings, setting up hygiene-plans, adjusting opening strategy according to changes in lockdown
(light/hard)
Online tours, online meetings between the students and tour guides
Digital commemoration
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
25
Live Streaming Events - i.e. Facebook Lives
We have implemented the production of online resources
FIN AL COMMENTS
The last question allowed for general comments or comments on specific topics of the questionnaire.
The Memorial I work for is too small for a communication department. With only three employees (75%, 50%,
50%) there's no room or time to work on Social Media for any of us. Other things are more important!
When we were in the first lockdown from March 2020 to July and then cautiously reopened until October 2020 the
memorial was attended both by school classes and single visitors. From the beginning of last November we have
been in the second lockdown and so far we don´t know when reopening will be possible. Unfortunately a big
memorial ceremony referring to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp had to be cancelled in April 2020
and also won´t take place this year!
The memorial site is closed due to the pandemic. It is possible to watch pictures of the exhibition online, however
the historical and political education and the impact of the authentical, historical place is not transferrable in that
way. At the moment we are thinking of a suitable way to use social media for the memorial-site, since it is a tool of
communication during the pandemic and further on.
During the COVID-19 pandemic [anonymised content] Facebook profile was created.
We are currently not in a position to use social media to the extent required for our purposes. We do not have the
personnel to continually oversee the comments and views expressed by users (which may be inacceptable and hence
would not be tolerated). We have neither the financial resources nor the personnel to employ someone to design and
keep an eye on what the Memorial and Museum might post on social media and also oversee the comments and
views expressed by users.
I believe that online will remain a hybrid of our traditional offering by the Centre after Covid. Social media and
digital platforms have allowed access to new audiences and speakers both locally, nationally and internationally.
Although speakers may wish to still come to South Africa, I think that many donors would start to question the
costs involved versus hosting a lecture via a digital platform.
During the pandemic, the [anonymised content] developed a new media concept that will begin to be implemented
this year.
Our Museum lives on personal contact with students, visitors on original place of former Concentration camp.
Social Media still plays a subordinate role at present in our Museum.
Unfortunately, there are times when antisemitic statements arise in the public context (social media and/or
newspaper and public debate). The Museum does not take a stand publicly not to increase the attention on these
statements and limit the 'damage'.
We try to keep the Memorial open for single Visitors. We try to let People know that they are welcome to ask
questions about [anonymised content] history. We try to provide Information online so that teachers can use them
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
26
for their classes. We are open to new Projects. At the moment we are working on a new presentation online and at
the exhibition.
In the last year we have strengthened our social media presence, increased the contents posted and their quality. It
has become increasingly clear to the management as well the necessity to invest in the digital communication, in
order to broaden our outreach. There are going to be numerous changes in the upcoming months.
We used the Corona crisis as a change to reach our prospective customer despite the memorial site being closed.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
27
CONC LUSIONS
This report presents the findings of a survey administered to a large sample of Holocaust museums and
memorials in the period February-April 2021. It is the first comprehensive investigation of its kind and paves
the way for further and more in-depth investigations.
Results have shown that respondents have a positive attitude towards SM although a number of concerns and
limitations have been highlighted. The scenario that emerges is indeed quite diverse and includes large
institutions with well-recognised expertise in the use of digital technologies and social media, as well as smaller
or more recent institutions that have just begun to orient themselves in the intricate world of digital Holocaust
remembrance. Further investigations are required to understand the specific challenges that each institution
faces given the ever-expanding and ever-changing virtual Holocaust memoryscenario (Walden, 2019).
As stressed by Ebbrecht-Hartmann (2020), Holocaust memorialsadoption and/or routine use of social media
have been considerably hastened by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, they have not only accepted the
ongoing generational change but have also acquired a tool that seems destined to remain in the future. Further
iterations of this survey will tell us what transformations and changes will have taken place.
REF E R ENCES
Booth, P., Ogundipe, A., & Røyseng, S. (2020). Museum leaders’ perspectives on social media. Museum
Management and Curatorship, 35(4), 373-391.
Dalziel, I. (2016). “Romantic Auschwitz”: examples and perceptions of contemporary visitor photography at the
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Holocaust Studies, 22, 185-207.
Ebbrecht-Hartmann, T. (2020). Commemorating from a distance: the digital transformation of Holocaust
memory in times of COVID-19. Media, Culture & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0163443720983276
Lundrigan, M. (2020). #Holocaust #Auschwitz: Performing Holocaust Memory on Social Media. In S. Gigliotti,
& H. Earl (Eds.), A Companion to the Holocaust (pp. 639-654). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Manca, S. (2019). Holocaust memorialisation and social media. Investigating how memorials of former
concentration camps use Facebook and Twitter. In W. Popma & F. Stuart (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th European
Conference on Social Media ECSM 2019, Brighton, UK, 13-14 June 2019, pp. 189-198.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
28
Manca, S. (2021a). Bridging cultural studies and learning science: An investigation of social media use for
Holocaust memory and education in the digital age. Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10714413.2020.1862582
Manca, S. (2021b). Digital Memory in the Post-Witness Era: How Holocaust Museums Use Social Media as New
Memory Ecologies. Information, 12(1), 1-17.
Manikowska, E. (2020). Museums and the Traps of Social Media: The Case of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial
and Museum. Santander Art and Culture Law Review, 2/2020 (6), 223-250.
Nora, P. (1989). Between memory and history: Les Lieux de Mémoire. Representations, 26, 724.
Parrott-Sheffer, C. (2019, March 20). Holocaust museum. Encyclopaedia Britannica.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Holocaust-museum
Rehm, M., Manca, S., & Haake, S. (2020). Sozialen Medien als digitale Räume in der Erinnerung an den
Holocaust: Eine Vorstudie zur Twitter-Nutzung von Holocaust-Museen und Gedenkstätten. merzmedien +
erziehung. zeitschrift für medienpädagogik, 6, 62-73.
Samaroudi, M., Rodriguez Echavarria, K., & Perry, L. (2020). Heritage in lockdown: digital provision of memory
institutions in the UK and US of America during the COVID-19 pandemic. Museum Management and Curatorship,
35(4), 337-361.
Walden, V. G. (2019). What is ‘virtual Holocaust memory’? Memory Studies.
https://doi.org/10.1177/1750698019888712
Wight, A. C. (2020). Visitor perceptions of European Holocaust Heritage: A social media analysis. Tourism
Management, 81, 104142.
Zalewska, M. (2017). Selfies from Auschwitz: Rethinking the Relationship Between Spaces of Memory and Places
of Commemoration in The Digital Age. Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media,
18, 95116.
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
29
APPEN D I X. THE SURVEY
Survey on Holocaust museums and memorials’ use of social media
Dear participant,
In the framework of the project "Countering Holocaust distortion on social media. Promoting the positive use
of Internet social technologies for teaching and learning about the Holocaust" (IHRA Grant no. 2020-792), the
Institute of Educational Technology of the Italian National Research Council (Italy), in collaboration with the
Institute of Educational Consulting, University of Education Weingarten (Germany) and the Department of
Education, Languages, Interculture, Literature and Psychology, University of Florence (Italy), is conducting a
study on the use of social media by Holocaust museums and memorials. The study investigates the interests,
motivations and benefits of the users related to the use of these social pages or profiles to acquire information
on Holocaust-related topics. In this specific survey, we are researching if and how Holocaust museums and
memorials use social media in their communication channels.
We are asking for your cooperation in taking the time to fill in the questionnaire below (the average completion
time is 15 minutes).
The questionnaire consists of 22 items of different nature (multiple choice questions, Likert Scale questions,
short open-ended questions), grouped into three main sections.
The first section collects background information about the museum/memorial and its communication
channels; the second section investigates the experience in social media use; the third section is dedicated to
the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the museum/memorial’s activities.
Please answer as sincerely as possible, bearing in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. If you wish,
you can ask us to send you the results of the research once we have processed the data. For further information,
please contact the research manager, Dr Stefania Manca, stefania.manca@itd.cnr.it
CONFIDENTIALITY, DATA PROCESSING AND STORAGE
The data collected will be processed in accordance with the Law of 22 December 2017, no. 219, and may be the
subject of scientific publications only in aggregate form, guaranteeing the anonymity of the participants. In
particular, the personal data collected will not be transmitted to persons not directly involved in the research
and will be processed anonymously; the results will be presented in aggregate form and with every precaution
necessary to avoid the identifiability of the participants. The processing of the data collected within the
framework of the research, their communication to third parties and/or publication for scientific purposes are
permitted, but can only occur after the data have been made anonymous, under the direct responsibility of the
person in charge of the research. The data will be stored, through the use of technological means (such as
encrypted passwords, access to the data only by authorised personnel, etc.), by the research manager, in
accordance with the principles set out in Article 5 EU Regulation 2016/679, for a period of time not exceeding
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
30
the achievement of the purposes and with specific regard to the principle of limitation of storage in Article 5,
letter e), GDPR EU Regulation 2016/679. The data controller is the ITD-CNR and the Data Processor is Dr Stefania
Manca, e-mail: stefania.manca@itd.cnr.it. All data will be deleted by 01/01/2025. The project has received the
approval of the Ethics Committee of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain.
INFORMED CONSENT
Before deciding freely whether you want to participate in this research, please read this informed consent form
carefully and ask the researcher any questions you feel are appropriate so that you are fully informed of the
aims and methods of the study. Please remember that this is a research project and that your participation is
completely voluntary. You may withdraw from the compilation at any time. Thank you for taking the time to
participate in this survey. Your help is greatly appreciated.
The undersigned declares that he/she is over 16 years of age and can therefore independently consent to the
processing of his/her personal data.
1. Yes
2. No
I declare that I have carefully read the explanations concerning this research and the whole experimental
procedure; that I have been informed about the aims and objectives of the research in question; that I have had
the opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of the experimental procedure; that I have received
satisfactory assurances about the confidentiality of the personal data collected by the research; that I am aware
that I can withdraw at any stage of the study *.
1. Yes
2. No
I, the undersigned, hereby consent to the processing of my personal and sensitive data collected as part of this
research in the terms and manner indicated above *.
1. I consent
2. I do not consent
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
31
a. Background information
1. Please enter the full name of the Museum/Memorial:_________________________
2. Where is the Museum/Memorial located? (place and country)
________________________________________________
3. When was the Museum/Memorial opened? (please insert the year) _________________________
4. What type of Museum/Memorial is it?
a. Holocaust Museum
b. Holocaust Site
c. Former Concentration Camp
d. Memorial Site
e. War and Military Museum
f. History Museum
g. House Museum
h. Virtual Museum
i. Other: _________
5. What is your role in the Museum/Memorial?
a. Archivist/Conservator/Registrar
b. Curator
c. Director
d. Docent/Educator
e. Exhibit Designer/Graphic Designer/Preparator
f. Historian
g. Public Relations Officer
h. Guide
i. Volunteer
j. Social Media Manager
k. Other: ____________
6. How many years have you been working for the Museum/Memorial?
a. Less than 3
b. 3 to 10
c. 11 to 20
d. 21 to 30
e. More than 30
7. Which of the following communication channels does the Museum/Memorial use to inform people
about its activities??
a. In-person events (e.g. workshops, conferences, etc.)
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
32
b. Traditional media channels (TV, radio, newspapers)
c. Mailing list
d. Website
e. Other: _______________
8. Does your Museum/Memorial use social media?
a. Yes
b. No
9. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements
Strongly
disagree
Moderate
ly
disagree
Neither
agree nor
disagree
Moderate
ly agree
Strongly
agree
If the museum uses
social media, the
museum will benefit in
the future
Social media is a
welcome change for
the museum
Social media is an
important means for
museum outreach
Museums need to have
a defined social media
policy
Social media distracts
museum’s resources
from its primary
function
Digital media has
usurped the role of
museums
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
33
The museum has to set
aside dedicated
resources for social
media
Social media provide
museums with the
freedom to try new
things
Social media requires
more resources than
the museum can
currently employ on
them
We want our museum
to have the best social
media presence,
compared to all other
museums
We are eager to
support innovative
social media projects at
our museum
Expending resources on
social media
communication is a
worthwhile investment
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
34
Any time spent by the
museum’s
communication
department on social
media would be better
used elsewhere
Museums should use
social media to counter
Holocaust distortion
This section is shown only if the answer to question no. 8 was positive, otherwise the survey ends with
question no. 9.
b. Social Media Use information
10. How long has your Museum/Memorial been using social media?
a. Less than 1 year
b. 1 year to 3 years
c. 4 years to 6 years
d. 7 years and more
11. Which social media platforms does your Museum/Memorial use? (you can select more than one)
a. Facebook
b. Instagram
c. Twitter
d. YouTube
e. Tik Tok/Snapchat
f. Pinterest
g. Flickr
h. LinkedIn
i. Tumblr
j. Blog
k. Other: ________
12. How often does your Museum/Memorial use the following social media platforms?
Never
Rarely
Monthly
Weekly
Daily
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
35
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
YouTube
Tik Tok/Snapchat
Pinterest
Flickr
LinkedIn
Tumblr
Blog
13. Are there other platforms that the museum/memorial uses which are not included in the list?
_____________________________________________________________________
14. Who is in charge of the social media profiles/pages and contents of the Museum/Memorial? (you can
select more than one option)
a. Internal Social Media Manager
b. External Social Media Manager
c. Archivist/Conservator/Registrar
d. Curator
e. Director
f. Docent/Educator
g. Exhibit Designer/Graphic Designer/Preparator
h. Historian
i. Public Relations Officer
j. Guide
k. Volunteer
l. Other: ________
15. Do these persons have specific expertise in social media management/marketing?
a. Yes
b. No
16. To what extent does your Museum/Memorial publish the following contents on social media?
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
36
Never
Rarely
Someti
mes
Often
Very
often
Educational contents (e.g. historical
content, moral education content,
personal stories of
victims/survivors)
Educational events (e.g.
workshops, conferences, podcasts,
webinars, virtual/audio tours)
Museum/Memorial activities and
service communications (e.g.
information about Museum
operation)
Material intended to counter
Holocaust distortion
Hashtags campaigns
Fundraising campaigns
17. Are there other types of content that the museum/memorial publishes which are not included in the
list?
_____________________________________________________________________
18. Does your Museums/Memorial follow other Museums/Memorials social accounts?
a. Yes
b. No
19. If yes, please specify which ones:
____________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
20. Does your Museum/Memorial draw inspiration from other Museums/Memorials’ social media
profiles/pages for your social media marketing/management strategies?
a. Yes
b. No
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
37
21. If yes, please specify which ones:
____________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
22. Does your Museum/Memorial intend to change its policies/strategies in the use of social media?
a. Yes
b. No
23. If yes, how?
___________________________________________________________
c.COVID-19 Pandemic
24. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, has your Museum/Memorial changed its activity on social media?
a. Yes
b. No
25. If yes, please indicate to what extent the Museum/Memorial has increased or decreased the following
activities during the COVID-19 pandemic
Decrea
sed
Unchan
ged
Increas
ed
Number of social media accounts/pages of the
Museum/Memorial
Frequency of posting on social media accounts/pages
Variety of contents posted on social media accounts/pages
Online events (e.g. webinars, virtual audio/video tours,
remote laboratories)
Social media campaigns (e.g. hashtags, Instagram/Facebook
stories)
Fundraising campaigns
Contests/Challenges/Competitions
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
38
Interactions with fans/followers (e.g. answer to
fan/followers comments)
Training on social media management/marketing addressed
to Museum/Memorial personnel
26. Are there other activities that the museum/memorial has increased or decreased the following
activities during the COVID-19 pandemic?
___________________________________________________________
27. Final comments
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
39
LI ST OF I NSTITUTIONS THAT RESPONDED TO THE SURVEY
Anne Frank House, Netherlands
Beit Theresienstadt, Israel
Belgrade city museum - Banjica concentration camp museum, Serbia
Buenos Aires Holocaust Museum, Argentina
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, United States of America
Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre, South Africa
Centre d'études et musée Edmond-Michelet, France
Centro Recordatorio del Holocausto de Uruguay, Uruguay
Concentration Camp Memorial Site of Dachau, Germany
Concentration Camp Memorial Vaihingen/Enz e.V., Germany
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, United States of America
Esther Raab Holocaust Museum, United States of America
Fondazione Museo della Shoah, Italy
Fondazione per la conservazione e valorizzazione della memoria storica del Campo di Fossoli - Fondazione
Fossoli, Italy
Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada,
Canada
Gedenkhalle Oberhausen, Germany
Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen, Germany
Gedenkstätte Bullenhuser Damm und Rosengarten für die Kinder vom Bullenhuser Damm, Germany
Gedenkstätte Kreuzstadl für alle Opfer beim Südostwallbau, Austria
Gedenkstätte SS-Sonderlager/KZ Hinzert, Germany
Gedenkstätte Todesmarsch im Belower Wald, Germany
Gedenkstätte und Museum Trutzhain, Germany
Gedenkstätte Wehnen, Germany
Gedenkstätten Gestapokeller und Augustaschacht, Germany
Geschichtswerkstatt Französische Kapelle Soest e.V., Germany
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
40
Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork, Netherlands
Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus, United States of America
Initiative Gedenkstätte Eckerwald, Germany
Jasenovac Memorial Site, Croatia
Konzentrationslager-Gedenkstätte "Unter den Eichen" Wiesbaden, Germany
KZ-Gedenk- und Begegnungsstätte Ladelund, Germany
KZ-Gedenkstätte Husum-Schwesing, Germany
KZ-Gedenkstätte Leonberg, Germany
KZ-Gedenkstätte Moringen, Germany
KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme, Germany
KZ-Gedenkstätte Sandhofen (Mannheim), Germany
Lern- und Gedenkort Schloss Hartheim, Austria
Mahn- und Gedenkstätten Wöbbelin, Germany
Mauthausen Komitee Kärnten/Koroška, Austria
Mémorial de la Shoah, France
Memorium Nuremberg Trials, Germany
Museo del Holocausto Guatemala, Yahad - In Unum, Guatemala
Museo diffuso della Resistenza, della Deportazione, della Guerra, dei Diritti e della Libertà, Italy
Museo Internazionale della Memoria di Ferramonti di Tarsia, Italy
Museo Nazionale dell'Ebraismo Italiano e della Shoah, Italy
Museo storico della Liberazione Roma, Italy
Museum of Resistance and Deportation of Besançon, France
Music of Remembrance, United States of America
Narvik War Museum, Norway
Norway's Resistance Museum, Norway
NS-Dokumentationsstelle Krefeld, Germany
Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory, branch of the Museum of Krakow, Poland
Památník Terezín, Czech Republic
Use of Social Media by Holocaust Museums and Memorials
41
KL Plaszow Museum and Memorial in Krakowa. German Nazi labor and concentration camp (1942-1945),
Poland
Ravensbrück Memorial Museum, Germany
Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, Germany
Memoriale della Shoah di Milano, Italy
St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum, United States of America
Stiftung Gedenkstätten Buchenwald und Mittelbau-Dora, Germany
The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Poland
The Falstad Center, Norway
The ''February 12th'' Memorial Museum, Serbia
The Florida Holocaust Museum, United States of America
The Quincentennial Foundation Museum Of Turkish Jews, Turkey
Treblinka Museum. The Nazi German Extermination and Forced Labour Camp (1941-1944), Poland
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States of America
Vermont Holocaust Memorial, United States of America
Yad Vashem The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Israel
Zeitgeschichte Museum und KZ- Gedenkstätte Ebensee, Austria
... 1 For a complete report on the results, see Manca (2021c). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Executive summary The context. Abuse, excuse, misrepresentation and manipulation of the history of the Holocaust are far from a fringe phenomenon. They have an international dimension and considerable weight (e.g., governments that seek to minimize their historical responsibility, conspiracy theorists who accuse Jews of exaggerating their suffering for financial gain, and online users who make use of imagery and language associated with the Holocaust for political, ideological, or commercial purposes unrelated to its history). As for social media, while their rise has enabled individuals and groups to connect on a global level and to gain instant access to information and knowledge, they have also allowed dissemination and spread of hateful content, including antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion, at an unprecedented rate. The problem. Although agencies and institutions concerned with Holocaust education and remembrance are well aware of the growing role of digital communication, there is little understanding of how small- and medium-sized Holocaust museums and memorials use social media to disseminate knowledge and memory of the Holocaust to the general public and to counter manipulation and distortion of Holocaust history. Both academic research and stakeholders have so far focused on the mission and practices of major Holocaust agencies, while neglecting to investigate the potential and critical issues that small and medium-sized museums and memorials face in both disseminating historical content and dealing with the phenomenon of distortion on social media. The contribution. This project focuses on a group of Holocaust museums and memorials located in two countries – Italy and Germany – in order to investigate their use of the main social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube - for the purposes of disseminating historical content, carrying out commemorative practices and countering the spread of Holocaust distortion. The project adopts an approach that conceives social media as a positive technology both for detecting good practices and for exploring critical issues in the very use of social media themselves. The approach is based on an investigative method that employs a range of quantitative and qualitative research tools. The idea is to analyse how museums and memorials use social media to expand Holocaust knowledge and memory, especially among the younger generations, and to activate groups of users and co-creators involved in user-generated content to protect the facts about the Holocaust and mitigate the challenges of distortion. The results. The various analyses carried out in the project have revealed a number of good practices and limitations that can currently be found in the social media profiles of the surveyed museums and memorials. Furthermore, although Holocaust remembrance has become a global, transcultural phenomenon, especially within European countries, national differences also exist between different local environments. The results achieved have made it possible to identify a number of current limitations, such as a mismatch between scholarly debates and public knowledge, limited bi-directional interaction with social media users, and the provision of materials that are not generally suitable for younger generations. A number of recommendations and guidelines have also been produced, such as further expanding historical knowledge of the Holocaust, investigating users’ preconceptions and biases, promoting the digital culture of remembrance, actively involving the follower/fan communities, and networking between entities with limited resources to share good practices and plan joint activities. These are all measures that Holocaust museums and memorials may adopt to encourage the development of forms of Holocaust knowledge and remembrance that are participatory, innovative and critical.
... COLLABORARE E LAVORARE INSIEME PER AUMENTARE L'IMPATTO E sCaMBiarsi inForMaZioni la ricerca ha dimostrato che i musei si seguono già a vicenda sui social (Manca, 2021b;rehm, Manca, & haake, 2020), ma una cooperazione più forte, ad esempio nel contesto di giornate commemorative o azioni congiunte, aprirebbe ulteriori opportunità. la collaborazione con i musei più grandi permetterebbe ai musei più "piccoli" di attirare l'attenzione e raggiungere un maggior numero di utenti. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Abusi, scuse, travisamenti e manipolazioni della storia della Shoah si possono riscontrare a tutti i livelli della società. Si tratta di un fenomeno tutt'altro che marginale: se ne possono trovare esempi nei governi che cercano di minimizzare la loro responsabilità storica, nei teorici della cospirazione che accusano gli ebrei di esagerare le loro sofferenze a scopo di lucro e negli utenti online che fanno uso di immagini e linguaggio associati alla Shoah per scopi politici, ideologici o commerciali che non hanno legami con la sua storia. Indipendentemente dalla sua forma, la distorsione della Shoah e i suoi potenziali effetti diretti o indiretti - antisemitismo, negazione della Shoah, miti cospirativi e nazionalismo estremo - hanno una dimensione e una rilevanza internazionale e pertanto richiedono una risposta internazionale. Per quanto riguarda i social media, se da un lato la loro ascesa ha permesso a individui e gruppi di connettersi a livello globale e di avere accesso istantaneo a informazioni e conoscenze, dall'altro hanno consentito l’esponenziale diffusione e la divulgazione di contenuti carichi d’odio, tra cui l'antisemitismo e la negazione e distorsione della Shoah. Il presente rapporto intende fornire ai musei e ai memoriali della Shoah una serie di linee guida e raccomandazioni per contrastare il fenomeno della distorsione della Shoah sui canali dei social media. Poiché queste istituzioni si configurano come pilastri sempre più importanti contro la distorsione della Shoah, esse non solo hanno molteplici opportunità di salvaguardare la documentazione storica ma hanno anche bisogno di aiuto per affrontare le sfide poste da coloro che distorcono la verità. In quest'ottica, il rapporto evidenzia diverse azioni che i memoriali e i musei della Shoah possono intraprendere per contribuire a ridurre l'impatto delle diverse forme di distorsione della Shoah sui social media. A differenza della negazione della Shoah, cioè il tentativo di cancellare la Shoah dalla storia, la distorsione della Shoah giustifica, minimizza o travisa la Shoah in una varietà di modi utilizzando vari mezzi di comunicazione non sempre facilmente identificabili. Mentre vi è un ampio consenso sul fatto che la negazione della Shoah sia alimentata dall'antisemitismo, la distorsione della Shoah è considerata una forma di antisemitismo secondario o una manipolazione della storia della Shoah e della sua memoria per vari scopi. Sebbene la narrazione storica irresponsabile e abusiva possa riguardare qualsiasi evento storico, oggi il numero di mutazioni e distorsioni della storia della Shoah sta crescendo e sta progressivamente assumendo diverse forme dilaganti. Poiché non esistono misure uniche e generali contro tutte le forme di distorsione, dovranno essere attuate diverse azioni specifiche a seconda del contesto geografico o sociale.
... Research has shown that museums already follow each other (Manca, 2021b;Rehm, Manca, & Haake, 2020), but stronger cooperation, e.g., in the context of commemorative days or joint actions, would open up further opportunities. Working with larger museums would allow "smaller" museums to attract attention and reach more users. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Abuse, excuse, misrepresentation and manipulation of the history of the Holocaust can be found at all levels of society. This is far from a fringe phenomenon: examples may be found in governments that seek to minimize their historical responsibility, conspiracy theorists who accuse Jews of exaggerating their suffering for financial gain, and online users who make use of imagery and language associated with the Holocaust for political, ideological, or commercial purposes unrelated to its history. Regardless of its form, Holocaust distortion and its potential direct or indirect effects – antisemitism, Holocaust denial, conspiracy myths and extreme nationalism – have an international dimension and relevance, and require an international response. As for social media, while their rise has enabled individuals and groups to connect on a global level and to have instant access to information and knowledge, they have also allowed spread and dissemination of hateful content, including antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion at an unprecedented rate. This report aims to provide Holocaust museums and memorials with a set of guidelines and recommendations to counter the phenomenon of Holocaust distortion on social media channels. As these institutions are increasingly important bulwarks against Holocaust distortion, they have manifold opportunities for safeguarding the historical record and need help to face the challenges posed by those who distort the truth. In this light, the report highlights several actions that Holocaust memorials and museums can take to help reduce the impact of different forms of Holocaust distortion on social media. Unlike Holocaust denial – the attempt to erase the Holocaust from history – Holocaust distortion excuses, minimizes, or misrepresents the Holocaust in a variety of ways and through various media which are not always readily identifiable. While there is broad agreement that Holocaust denial is fuelled by antisemitism, Holocaust distortion is either considered a form of secondary antisemitism or manipulation of Holocaust history and its memory for various purposes. Although irresponsible and abusive history may affect any historical event, today the number of mutations and distortions of Holocaust history are growing and are progressively assuming diverse rampant forms. As there are no single, general measures against all forms of distortion, several specific actions will have to be implemented depending on the geographical or social context.
... Although no incentive was offered for participation, respondents were, however, told that they would be informed of the results. The full results are available at [68]. ...
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