Luciana Berger’s neo-Nazi Twitter troll is finally silenced
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Luciana Berger’s neo-Nazi Twitter troll is finally silenced

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

The neo-Nazi  jailed for abusing Labour MP Luciana Berger on Twitter was finally silenced this week when the social media giant removed his account, writes Justin Cohen.

This week, the shadow home secretary demanded to know what Twitter is “playing at” after the neo-Nazi, that has previously been jailed for abusing Luciana Berger continued to use the site to spew anti-Semitism and trivialise the Holocaust.

Garron Helm was sentenced to four weeks behind bars in October over a tweet showing a Holocaust-era yellow star superimposed on the Liverpool Wavertree MP’s forehead. The message carried the hashtag ‘Hitler was right’.

But in the past two weeks alone, a torrent of hateful messages targeting the community or politicians standing up for British Jewry have been sent from the same Twitter account from which Helm abused Berger.

On Holocaust Memorial Day, one tweet, reacting to a news story about the millions who perished in the Holocaust, said: “From 4 to 6, now it’s 11! Lol.”

Holocaust revisionism

The following day another said: “If Adolf Hitler never existed the Jews would of created him. They need an evil white man to fuel their victim complex.” 

Jews and Hitler

He also tweeted “burrrrn lol” after Ed Miliband tweeted his Jewish News article marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Bonehill burn

Turning his hate towards Shomrim, another tweet said: “Jewish patrol cars out in force in London. That’s right, who really rules Britain? Like I said,#Occupied.” The account also refers to “western Jews-media” and claimed Jews were “actively working to genocide my people”.  JEWISH PATROL

After Jewish News brought the continued abuse to her attention, shadow home secretary Yvette Copper said: “This is appalling anti-Semitic abuse. This man has been convicted once of using Twitter’s platforms to commit crimes – threatening, harassing and promoting racist abuse. 

“Why on earth does Twitter’s policy allow him back on to do the same thing all over again? What are Twitter playing at? This is not about freedom of speech, this is hate crime. Twitter should take some responsibility and get it stopped.”

Helm said this week, in an interview with a far-right publication, that he was “not sorry in the slightest” for his campaign of hate. 

Berger, the shadow public health minister, told the Jewish News she was “deeply saddened” to discover the account was still fully operational. “It is very concerning to see so many racist and anti-Semitic tweets continue to be published from this account.”

She added: “Twitter recognises the importance of keeping some people from using Twitter by the fact they close some accounts. However phone verification is required for new profiles to be set up which means accounts can still be started from IP addresses where offending accounts have been registered. It’s unclear what Twitter’s exact policies are which mean some accounts are still allowed to broadcast messages of hate, even after that person has gone to prison for it.” 

The MP was bombarded with hundreds of anti-Semitic messages a day at the height of an orchestrated international campaign following Helm’s jailing – and continues to face abuse “daily”. One account – @lucianadead – was taken down in recent days after being reported to the microblogging site.Luciana dead 2

But police have told Berger that Twitter “is taking too long” to respond to some requests for information about accounts of concern, she said.

Turning to the wider problem of abuse on social media, she added: “People are using Twitter as a platform to commit crimes every day under English law and Twitter needs to do more to be part of the solution. What happens on Twitter has serious real life consequences. Lack of resource is no defence from social media companies and they should be held more accountable.” 

Crime Prevention minister Lynne Featherstone said: “The Government takes the safety of the Jewish community extremely seriously

“We are working with senior representatives from leading social media companies, the police and community groups to look at ways to address online hate crime, and changes to the law will increase the maximum penalty for offences under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 to two years imprisonment.” 

Following a meeting organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism last year, MPs accused Twitter of a “defensive” response to concerns about rising online hate. “They likened the tweets to hearing an offensive conversation in the street, meaning that it’s soon gone as you pass by,” said Hendon MP Offord at the time. 

Twitter failed to respond to a request for comment. 

 

 

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments