Twitter accused of ‘enabling’ anti-Semitism after promoting racist tweets

Twitter was accused of "rampaging racism" after promoting a viral hashtag that contained numerous anti-Semitic tweets.

Under the hashtag #JewishPrivilege, which was announced in the UK on Sunday evening and Monday morning, users were presented with several articles on anti-Jewish racism and Holocaust denial.

The word “Jews” was also trendy for part of the Monday on the platform.

Some tweets deleted since then related to the gassing of Jews by Nazis and "to visit and then complain about the only 6 million star hotel in history".

Other posts that were still on the website at the time of publication accused the Jewish people of "shaming white people pretending to be one of us" and controlling the media.

The campaign against anti-Semitism was shocked that the technology company not only allowed tweets to stay on the platform, but also advertised them about its trend topics.

"It's terrible … this is clearly a hashtag about rejecting racism against Jews, while it implies that Jews are doing injustice against other minorities," Stephen Silverman, director of investigative and enforcement at the organization, told the news agency PA.

"Twitter's response is not just deaf but brazen. Anti-Semites can use Twitter to reach millions, and if they don't respond to anti-Jewish instigation, Twitter will do it," he said.

Although activity has been highest in the past two days, news agency PA found tweets on June 8 that complained about the hashtag trend over several days.

The social media site said it could stop certain topics from trending to "promote healthy discussions" on its platform.

"These include trends that trigger hatred based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or illness," the company said.

However, Twitter claimed that the hashtag #JewishPrivilege did not violate these guidelines without providing further details.

"Social networks make racism rampant and it is high time they were regulated like any other mass media," said Silverman.

"The reports that trigger this anti-Jewish hatred will still be there tomorrow, and thousands will be retweeted."

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<figcaption>Twitter said the trend doesn't violate its guidelines (Dominic Lipinski / PA)</figcaption></figure>
<p>Jacob, a Jewish student from London who did not want to share his last name, told PA that reading comments under the hashtag exposed him to "disgusting anti-Semitism from all corners of the political spectrum."</p>
<p>"I've seen people try to tell our story for us and claim we decide when we" know "and when we're a minority," the 20-year-old told PA.</p>
<p>"I've seen people claim that the Holocaust didn't happen."</p>
<p>Netta Meytin, a Jewish lawyer from Israel, pointed out several tweets claiming Jews were "better than everyone else".</p>
<p>"I've received a lot of comments like this from every social media platform I've been a member of. It creates that feeling of hopelessness," the 19-year-old told PA.</p>
<p>"These comments reflect the speeches of powerful leaders who have used their position to cause genocides."</p>
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Ms. Meytin said the language created a feeling of "hopelessness" (Netta Meytin)

It is difficult to determine where the hashtag came from, but many Jews responded by telling stories of oppression to which they, their families, or others were exposed.

Actor Josh Gad tweeted: "Is it my mother's privilege never to meet her grandparents because they were murdered, or are their parents being robbed of their childhoods by being put in camps?"

Another Jewish person who wanted to remain anonymous told PA: "I felt sick from many comments – both Jews who shared their painful experiences and racists who denied our pain."

Jacob said it was admirable to see the hashtag become a "moment of education," but was concerned that "there was no way to win this situation."

"When we complain about hashtags and the like, we act in such a way that people accuse us of wallowing in our victim and can increase anti-Semitic feelings," he said.

"It is a situation in which we are powerless. I feel powerless. We all have a responsibility to do better. "

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