UK Labour tells Twitter to ‘get house in order’ over thousands of anti-Semitic tweets

UK Labour tells Twitter to ‘get house in order’ over thousands of anti-Semitic tweets
The UK Labour Party slammed Twitter for failing to address thousands of antisemitic tweets shared in Britain each year and said the government's Online Safety Bill must do more to protect Jewish communities and others.
2 min read
10 December, 2021
The report found that up to 495,000 anti-Semitic tweets are shared in the UK each year [Getty]

The UK Labour Party told Twitter to “get its house in order without delay” following reports Friday that almost half a million anti-Semitic tweets are posted in the UK each year. 

A new report by the Antisemitism Policy Trust and the Community Security Trust revealed that up to 495,000 explicitly antisemitic tweets are shared in the UK each year, with around 100 to 1,350 such tweets shared every day.

Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, said the findings underlined the “scale of the challenging facing us,” taking a tough stance against antisemitism - an issue Labour has historically been accused of mishandling. 

The report - Twitter: the extent and nature of antisemitism on Twitter in the UK - said:  “Anti-Jewish racism persists on major social media platforms, and that either the tools for addressing it are not fit for purpose, or the public policies professed by the world’s leading social media giants at best, poorly enforced and at worst, not worth the paper they are written on.” 

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It estimated that for every member of the British Jewish community, there are nearly two anti-Semitic tweets annually. 

Some of the tweets shared in the report made discriminatory remarks related to Nazi Germany. Others regurgitate tired stereotypes about the Jewish community. 

Powell said the UK government’s new Online Safety Bill, which aims to establish a way of regulating abusive and harmful content online, “requires significant improvement and strengthening. 

“It is clear that the Jewish community and many others are paying the price for the Government’s failure to deliver their promises.” 

British Labour has been accused of “serious failings” over handling of anti-Semitism in their party by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). 

Labour leader Keir Starmer called reports of anti-Semitism in the party a “stain”, vowing to stamp out the “poison” under his premiership.  

His predecessor Jeremy Corbyn said, “one anti-Semite is one too many,” but did not accept all of the EHCR’s findings. 

The New Arab contacted Twitter about these reports of anti-Semitism on their platform, but received no response by the time of publication. 

Their own policy states that the platform cannot be used to “promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”