A UK Jewish advocacy group has slammed Twitter for failing to enforce its policies on anti-Semitic material.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), which had previously partnered with Twitter to fight the spread of online Jew hatred, is now criticizing Twitter’s policies on hateful content, calling the social media’s efforts on that front a failure, reported BBC News.
The organization said that it had reported approximately 1,000 tweets to Twitter but only 40 percent were flagged for violating its community standards.
Twitter’s stated policy is that anti-Semitism is against its rules.
However, it has been accused multiple times in the past of either not removing anti-Semitic posts or being too slow in reacting.
According to The Times, Twitter did not flag for guideline violations tweets reported by the CAA featuring anti-Semitic statements such as “Hitler was right” and “Jews control the world.”
On July 1, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) denounced Twitter for not doing enough when “a vile, anti-Semitic tweet from a former member of Congress to appear on its platform, where it collected thousands of engagements.”
The tweet by former Democratic representative and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney consisted of an image of the World Trade Center twin towers on fire with a puzzle piece labelled “Zionists did it” superimposed on top. At the bottom was written “The Final Piece of the Puzzle.”
AJC reported the tweet to Twitter, and spoke to the company explaining why it was anti-Semitic.
“This blood libel – trying to shift blame for the 3,000 deaths on 9/11 from al-Qaeda to ‘Zionists’ – is one of the most outrageous examples of anti-Semitism imaginable,” ACJ CEO David Harris tweeted. “Note: It comes from an ex-Congresswoman, whose hatred for Israel (and) those who support it clearly knows no bounds.”
Twitter described the tweet as “strong political commentary.” But later, under pressure, removed the tweet as a “violation of its rules.” However, it was restored hours later without any explanation.
In 2020, Twitter asked the CAA to become a “Twitter partner” which allows it to directly report hateful tweets to Twitter though a “partner portal.”
However, the CAA stated that anti-Semitic material – including tweets praising Hitler, denying the Holocaust and accusing Jews of controlling the government – is still commonplace and not being deleted. Most of the associated accounts are also not being suspended for violating Twitter’s policies.
The group also purported that monthly meetings that were supposed to have been set up with Twitter to work on the issue were cancelled after only one discussion, with Twitter ending the partnership.
"If Twitter brought us on as a partner as some sort of fig leaf for its inaction, we are now laying bare the true picture of the company,” the CAA’s Stephen Silverman told the BBC. "It is clear that the company is neither capable nor interested in tackling anti-Semitism, and it must now fall to an independent regulator to assume that role instead."