Twitter filled with anti-Semitic tweets targeting Jewish Congress members, study says

Twitter has guidelines in opposition to hate speech, however advocacy teams say the social community ought to do extra. 

James Martin/PJDM

Twitter customers are posting anti-Semitic content material focusing on Jewish Congress members forward of the US elections, in line with a 32-page report launched Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL analyzed 5,954 tweets posted between July 23 to Aug. 22 directed at 30 Jewish lawmakers up for re-election. About 10% of these tweets have been “problematic” as a result of they contained anti-Semitic content material. About 7% of the problematic tweets contained “express” anti-Semitic language similar to the usage of an ethnic slur, however Twitter hasn’t eliminated these posts, in line with the ADL.

“Whereas Twitter has taken myriad steps to cope with hate speech that violates their phrases of service, they don’t seem to be figuring out or eradicating this blatant antisemitism rapidly sufficient,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt mentioned in a press release. “Twitter should implement their guidelines and take away such content material swiftly and constantly.”

The report comes as social networks similar to Twitter and Fb are below extra stress to fight hate speech and misinformation forward of the 2020 US elections. These websites have guidelines in opposition to hate speech, however civil rights teams have additionally been urging these tech firms to do a greater job of scrubbing their platforms of offensive content material. 

“Anti-Semitic content material has no place on Twitter and is prohibited below our guidelines on hateful conduct. We’re inspired that this report displays that we’re taking motion and stepping up our work to guard the general public dialog, however we all know we have extra to do. We are going to stay vigilant and welcome suggestions,” a Twitter spokesperson mentioned in a press release.

A considerable amount of the tweets deemed problematic by the ADL questioned the loyalty and honesty of Jewish Congress members, portraying them as much less patriotic and dishonest as a result of they’re Jewish. Different customers shared misinformation about Jewish Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, together with false allegations that he funded and arranged Black Lives Matter protests and an anti-fascist protest motion often known as Antifa. Problematic tweets additionally pushed conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic tropes.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Sen. Charles Schumer, each New York Democrats, have been focused with the very best variety of problematic tweets, in line with the examine. The ADL outlined six suggestions for social media firms, together with increasing instruments and providers for customers focused with hate, adjusting their algorithms to scale back the attain of hateful conduct, and bettering the processes for classifying hate.

This additionally is not the primary time Twitter has been criticized for not doing sufficient to crack down on anti-Semitic content material. In July, Twitter and Fb-owned Instagram confronted extra authorities scrutiny after British rapper Wiley posted a collection of tweets that contained insults and conspiracy theories aimed toward Jewish folks. Each platforms reportedly eliminated a few of the rapper’s offensive content material, however British politicians criticized the social media websites for not performing swiftly sufficient. The ADL additionally released a report in 2018 that confirmed there have been a minimum of 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets that have been shared in 2017.

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Queenie Wong