A charity fighting anti-Semitism has accused Twitter of not taking the abuse on its platform seriously after the social media company ruled that tweets including 'Hitler was right' and 'Jews control the world' did not breach its guidelines.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) slammed the company for ignoring hundreds of abusive tweets it had flagged including calls to 'gas the Jews'.
The charity also accused Twitter of cancelling meetings after they had raised concerns about the implementation of their policies - despite the tech giant being the one to suggest monthly meetings with the CAA over how to tackle anti-Semitism.
The actions - or lack of them - by Twitter, has led to the CAA to accuse the company of not being 'interested in addressing antisemitism on its platform'.
A charity fighting anti-Semitism has accused Twitter of not taking the abuse on its platform seriously after the social media company ruled that tweets including 'Hitler was right' and 'Jews control the world' did not breach its guidelines
The charity said it had been selected by the tech giant as a 'Twitter partner' to help tackle antisemitism on its platform after Twitter faced criticism for being slow to remove abusive tweets by British rapper Wiley.
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at CAA, said: 'We do not have confidence in Twitter's capacity to address the rampant antisemitism on its platform.
'As Twitter's partner in trying to combat anti-Jewish hate, we have not come to this conclusion lightly.'
He added: 'If Twitter brought us on as a partner as some sort of fig leaf for its inaction, we are now laying bare the true picture of the company.
'Having cut off contact with us after we provided clear evidence that Twitter's policies on hateful material are failing, it is clear that the company is neither capable nor interested in tackling antisemitism, and it must now fall to an independent regulator to assume that role instead.'
The CAA submitted 1,000 tweets incorporating anti-Semitic tropes such as the hashtag Hitler Was Right and the phrase 'Holohoax' as well as references to 'fake Jewish Holocaust'
The anti-Semitic tweets that Twitter deemed acceptable for its platform
The charity said Twitter had invited them to become a 'Twitter partner' which allowed volunteers at the CAA to report problematic material directly through the company's 'partner portal' to Twitter staff - rather than machines - for review.
The CAA submitted 1,000 tweets incorporating anti-Semitic tropes such as the hashtag Hitler Was Right and the phrase 'Holohoax' as well as references to 'fake Jewish Holocaust'.
On just one day, December 4 2020, the charity flagged a series of anti-Semitic tweets which they claim Twitter deemed acceptable.
This included tweets stating that: 'Except Hitler was right', while another user wrote: 'Wow. Biden's now over 81 million votes? It's like the Holohoax: you can just keep making up numbers.'
Others said: '3 baby Jew rats. 1 will grow up and Rob empires. 1 will go up committing sex act. 1 will grow up and become a Rabbi and will commit Jewish Talmudic Hebaric Terrrorism'.
Another said: 'Jews control our government, mainstream media, social media, Hollywood [and] financial institutions'
But these tweets, and hundreds of others, were 'expressly deemed by the company to be acceptable on its platform'.
'What was remarkable, however, was that all of these tweets – and hundreds of others like them – were brought to Twitter's attention over the course of several months by Campaign Against Antisemitism but were expressly deemed by the company to be acceptable on its platform,' the charity said.
Around 60 per cent of the tweets that CAA submitted were not found to have breached Twitter's policies on hate, but the charity claims the material in the permitted and banned tweets was often the same.
The CAA claims that they were led to believe the staff were trained to identify anti-Semism, but this was not the case in practice.
The charity also claimed Twitter has failed to adequately explain the parameters for removing or permitting tweets or who is reviewing hateful material or how they have been trained. The CAA said that offers of training for Twitter staff have been ignored.
The CAA also said that that while Twitter had agreed to meet with them every month to discuss their progress, the tech giant had cancelled meetings after an initial meeting in December. The charity claims this happened after they had flagged issues with the platform's policies on anti-Semitism.
'In short, Twitter cut off contact with us after we provided clear evidence that their policies on hateful material were failing,' the CAA said in a statement.
'Remarkably, it was Twitter that invited Campaign Against Antisemitism to become its partner on tackling antisemitism on its platform, and it was Twitter that suggested monthly meetings to progress matters,' the charity added.
'But when its own partner alerted the social media giant to the scale of anti-Jewish hatred and the inconsistency of the implementation of its own rules, Twitter decided not to proceed at all.
'These are not the actions of a company interested in addressing antisemitism on its platform.'
Mr Silverman added: The opacity of Twitter's parameters, its inconsistent implementation of its own policies, its lack of interest in our offers of training for its personnel, and its decision ultimately to stop engaging with us at all, are not the actions of a company that takes antisemitism seriously.
'We continue to urge the Government to take action now to stem the tide of antisemitic hate online.'
Twitter declined to comment on the allegations made by the CAA but told The Times 'all online abuse — including antisemitic abuse — has no place on Twitter [and] is prohibited by our rules'.
The company said 'attempts to deny or diminish' violent events such as the Holocaust are prohibited under Twitter's hateful conduct policy.