The chairman of a parliamentary group on anti-Semitism has criticised Twitter for showing “a lack of will” in tackling people posting anti-Semitic abuse on the social media site.
John Mann MP, who chairs the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, was speaking in the House of Commons on anti-Semitic abuse suffered by Luciana Berger MP, whose abuser was jailed last month.
Urging MPs to “fight back,” Mann revealed that he himself had been targeted in the aftermath of his comments last week by people posting fake comments in his name. “There has been an arrest in the past few days,” he said.
Mann went on to outline how the law could be expanded to ban harassers, and how social media companies could do more, arguing that “lack of resource is not a defence”.
He said: “Where individuals set up multiple accounts, Twitter finds it impossible to deal with that. That shows a lack of will.”
Mann also argued for expanding the law, which currently allows the banning or blocking of individuals on social media in relation to sexual offences. “This needs to be widened to all bullying and harassment on the internet,” he said.
“Why are we not using internet banning orders, ASBO equivalents for social media?” he asked. “If we can ban people from going to a pub, football match or town, the same should be done to parts of social media or, if necessary, the internet.”