British MPs Recommend Prevention Orders Used for Sex Offenders to Tackle Antisemitism on Social Media
A report following a British parliamentary inquiry into antisemitism released Sunday proposes that those spreading racial hatred online should be treated like sex offenders and served anti-social behavior orders or “Asbos” restricting their online access and possibly banning them from social media sites, various UK media outlets reported.
The orders could also prevent them from hiding behind fake identities online.
The All Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into antisemitism, which was initiated after shocking levels of antisemitism were recorded in the UK during and after Israel’s summer war against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, said that social media platforms have “increasingly been used for the spread of antisemitism”.
According to the report, the words “Hitler” and “Holocaust” were among the top 35 key words used on Twitter during the summer, and the hashtag “Hitler was right” was trending in July.
The report said: “There is an allowance in the law for banning or blocking individuals from certain aspects of internet communication in relation to sexual offences.
“Informal feedback we have received from policy experts indicates that this is a potential area of exploration for prosecutors in relation to hate crime.
“If it can be proven in a detailed way that someone has made a considered and determined view to exploit various online networks to harm and perpetrate hate crimes against others then the accepted principles, rules and restrictions that are relevant to sex offences must surely apply.”
The report also recommended that the government establish a fund to pay for security at synagogues, and called for the creation of guidelines for teachers on how to address the Middle East conflict in classrooms.
The report follows the release of figures last week by Britain’s Community Security Trust, the official body dealing with security for the British Jewish community, showing that there were more antisemitic incidents in 2014 than at any other time since the organization began maintaining records in 1984.
CST recorded 1,168 antisemitic incidents across the country during 2014, more than double the 535 incidents recorded in 2013. The previous highest total came in 2009, when 931 antisemitic incidents were recorded.