The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) Twitter account will go silent for 48 hours from 6pm AEST to support the #nospaceforjewhate campaign.
This global grassroots campaign seeks to expose the unimpeded rise of antisemitism on Twitter. Supporters of the campaign are urging Twitter to take action against antisemitism, specifically to enforce its own user regulations. Prominent politicians, celebrities, religious leaders and non-government organisations from around the world have all joined the campaign. Among those expressing support are UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, the UK Labour Party and the UK Liberal Democrats, the American Jewish Committee and its executive director David Harris, and chair of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog.
The #nospaceforjewhate campaign is a response to the increasing number of celebrities, public figures and other Twitter users, who have shared antisemitic remarks. This week, British rapper Wiley was dropped by his management and is being investigated by police, over an antisemitic tirade he posted on Twitter to his 500,000 followers. Twitter was slow to respond, removing only some of the hate speech and failing to suspend or ban Wiley for the comments.
The case with Wiley is not the first time Twitter has failed to act to remove the content or sanction those who circulate antisemitism. Twitter’s failure to act has become more acute during the coronavirus pandemic, and also in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, where both issues have been used by haters to spread antisemitism, including using Twitter to blame Jews for spreading coronavirus and falsely accusing the Israeli military of teaching American police the brutal methods that led to the death of Black American George Floyd.
“Social media is a driver of antisemitic hate. It is incumbent on all of us to urge Twitter to prevent its platform being used to spread anti-Jewish hate,” Dr Colin Rubenstein, AIJAC executive director, said.
“We know that many of the individuals who have committed violent hate crimes in recent years have been radicalised on social media. Antisemitism on Twitter is dangerous and Twitter’s failure to deal with this growing problem could put lives at risk.”
“AIJAC is supporting the #nospaceforjewhate to encourage social media companies, especially Twitter, to do more to prevent the proliferation of hate speech.”