The sickening extent of anti-Semitism on Twitter was laid bare this week.
The vile hate tweets have emerged at a time of heightened focus on abuse and racism on the microblogging site – and Twitter’s response to it.
Among the shocking messages posted on Twitter in the past 24 hours – and collated on the new page – are messages referring to Jews and ovens, suggestions that Jews are greedy with money and even unveiled messages of “hate” towards community members.
One particularly vile messages, posted by @dangrcarden, targeted @IDFsoldiergirl: “Eat s*** and Die you murderous scum. Your fake country needs to be annihilated. We should have let Hitler finish the job.”
Another from @Aaqil said: “Jews are evil were evil and forever be evil” while @ItsJulie1964 wrote: “Jews are sadistic killers like Negroes are.”
The Community Security Trust expressed hope that the new page would help to “empower” victims of abuse. “We all know that antisemitism is a serious subject, but this is an imaginative way of rightly showing up how pathetic and stupid these antisemites are,” said director of communications Mark Gardner. “If it helps empower or encourage some of those who have been on the receiving end of the abuse, then that is even better.”
The page emerged as a wave of anti-Semitic abuse targeted Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy – apparently triggered by the saga surrounding the possible transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
The club this week spoke out over the abuse, with a spokesman saying: “We do not tolerate discrimination of any sort, on or off the pitch, and take all incidents extremely seriously. In line with our existing policy, we have reported these accounts to Twitter and also notified the Metropolitan Police, in order to make them aware of these individuals.”
The CST has welcomed the news that Twitter plans to add a report abuse button on each tweet – a facility that has until now only been available on Twitter for iPhone – but there were calls from the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism for further steps to be taken.
Twitter’s UK general manager Tony Wang and senior director of safety Del Harvey said that its online rules had been updated in the wake of recent controversies to clarify that abusive behaviour would not be tolerated.
They added: “We are committed to making Twitter a safe place for our users. We are adding additional staff to the teams that handle abuse reports and are exploring new ways of using technology to improve everyone’s experience on Twitter. We’re here, and we’re listening to you.”