Shalom Life | December 25, 2014

This British Politician Is Trying to Put an End to Racism & anti-Semitism on Twitter

Luciana Berger, the subject of some 2,500 anti-Semitic tweets earlier this year, wants the platform to ban racist words

By: Daniel Koren

Published: December 19th, 2014 in News » World

This British Politician Is Trying to Put an End to Racism & anti-Semitism on Twitter

A May 2014 study found that Twitter is the choice platform for online anti-Semitism and racism. Looking at social media platforms and websites, Twitter received one of the worst possible rankings in a study conducted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. According to the Center's Rabbi Abraham Cooper, “Twitter hasn’t shown us they have an institutional grasp or commitment of the issue, and that needs to change.”

Earlier this year, a British Jewish politician by the name of Luciana Berger felt the wrath of the Twitter community's staunch anti-Semites and hate mongers as the subject of a vicious campaign that found some 2,500 tweets and hate messages directed against her.

Many of the tweets were accompanied by the utterly offensive hashtag "filthyjewbitch, and reportedly organized by an American neo-Nazi site.

While this should shock and disappoint us, considering the hashtags we've seen trending on the popular social media platform this year - including one #HitlerWasRight - it's not really that surprising.

Now, Berger is calling on Twitter to do something about the racist, hate-filled rhetoric that makes up the fabric of its community, and completely ban all racist and anti-Semitic epithets on the site.

Berger, a Labour Party MP, represents the constituency of Liverpool in northern England.

“Twitter’s response isn’t good enough. It has a responsibility to do more to protect its users. The site is letting me and many others down who have been the subject of lots of hate,” Berger said, adding that Twitter could do a much better job to prevent its users from voicing such offensive and derogatory remarks.

“It could start by proactively banning racist words which aren’t allowed to printed in newspapers or broadcast on TV that could never be used in a positive way – such as kike – a derogatory and anti-Semitic term for describing a Jew,” she stated.

Berger's been campaigning for Twitter to take her initiative seriously, but thus far, it doesn't seem she's made much headway.

“It took well over a week for some of the abusive content to be removed and even when it was, the approach was sporadic and very haphazard,” Berger said. “Twitter has made some improvements on the site and it’s important that you can report people – but when you are getting the level of abuse I was, it’s an onerous task reporting each and every person.”

To create an algorithm that automatically detects and deletes offensive, racist comments is very doable, for one. How about it, Twitter?

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