British-Jewish MP Under Social Media Barrage: Twitter Slow to Remove Antisemitic Slurs, Images
A Jewish UK Parliament member and shadow mental health minister said Twitter has been slow in controlling the antisemitic invective directed at her, and refuses to bar certain catchwords she says could never be justified, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
“It did feel that progress was frustratingly slow,” said Labour MP Luciana Berger, referring to a 2014 incident in which she was apparently subject to a barrage of some 2,500 offensive tweets.
“Twitter asked me to report any abusive tweets using what was then quite an onerous online system which took a few minutes to report every tweet,” she said.
She said although Twitter has taken steps in recent months to improve its flagging system, it was unable to block racist images and apparently selective about which racist and antisemitic slurs to remove.
She said Twitter actually refused to remove one particularly offensive epithet, even though “there was no justifiable context in which that extremely antisemitic abuse would ever be used.”
“There is still an abundance of antisemitism on Twitter. I have received more over the weekend. I have a voice as an MP, but I do worry for that young teenage boy or girl who may be the subject of a barrage of hate messages. They may not have the ability to deal with it,” said the 34-year-old Liverpool Wavertree MP.
In 2014, a 21-year-old man was sentenced by a British court to four weeks in jail and ordered to pay an £80 ($121) fine for sending Berger a tweet featuring the MP with a yellow Star of David and the words “Hitler was right.” After his sentence was announced, Berger apparently was subject to a barrage of about 2,500 malicious tweets, according to police. She petitioned Twitter to ban the use of the word “kike,” which she argued can never be contextualized.