The move follows concerns of online antisemitism after rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, used his considerable Twitter platform to state he was “going death con [sic] 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Shortly after, basketball player Kyrie Irving promoted an allegedly antisemitic film on his Twitter account.
The letter reads: “Since its establishment, Twitter has become one of the world’s preeminent social media platforms for online discussions, where citizens, elected officials, and the media exercise their right to free expression and engage in healthy and productive conversations.
“To maximise the probability that the future is good, the world needs an online platform where everyone can participate. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as Jewish users are subject to unrelenting harassment on Twitter.”
Last year, we published a major report that shows how Twitter fails to implement consistently its own policies on hate.
The report showed how Twitter appointed Campaign Against Antisemitism as a partner to monitor anti-Jewish racism on its platform and promised regular meetings, only to cease those meetings and ignore offers of antisemitism training after we began alerting the company to the inconsistent application of its policies by personnel.
Not only were phrases like “f*** the Jews” not considered to breach Twitter’s rules, but other phrases such as “Hitler was right” were sometimes permitted and sometimes removed, without any form of coherent reasoning. Moreover, one of the few areas where Twitter has in the past said that it would take action is over Holocaust denial, pledging to remove “attempts to deny or diminish” violent events such as the Shoah.
Our report, however, shows that Twitter personnel repeatedly raised no objection to phrases such as “#Holohoax” and other, more elaborate tweets of Holocaust denial.
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.