Watch: Jewish comedian paints anti-Semitic tweets outside Twitter

Watch: Jewish comedian paints anti-Semitic tweets outside Twitter

Shahak Shapira stages stunt to highlight the social media giant’s inaction in tackling online hate

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Slurs including “Jewish Pig”, “Let’s gas some Jews together” and “Gays to Auschwitz” were spray-painted outside Twitter’s head office this week to shame the social media giant into confronting anti-Semitic abuse.

Dismayed by the social media giant’s failure to censor offensive tweets, Jewish comedian Shahak Shapira daubed hate messages that remain undeleted on the site outside the company’s German head office in Hamburg.

Shapira has produced a YouTube video to highlight his protest called ‘#HEYTWITTER’, in which he claims that he has reported almost 300 foul tweets and more than 150 hate comments to Facebook so far this year, of which he says 80 percent was removed, but has only have received nine answers for Twitter

During the video, he says: “The statements I reported weren’t just plain insults or jokes, but absolutely serious threats of violence, homophobia, xenephobia, or Holocaust denial. Things no one should say and no one should read. If Twitter forces me to see those things, then they’ll have to see them too.”

Shahak Shapira with some of his stencils

His video, which has been viewed more than 60,000 times, shows passers-by calling the graffiti “racist, misogynic, inhuman” and “disgusting”, but a “good idea” in terms of highlighting Twitter’s inaction in tackling hate.

The five-minute clip also shows some of the graffiti being cleared up, while other tweets are left untouched. Shapira remarks that this “fits well with Twitter’s policy of cleaning in front of their own door, and leaving the rest to be someone else’s problem.”

Shahak Shapira previously caused controversy by producing a “Yolocaust” website, to highlight tourists’ insensitivity at sites of Shoah memorial. He created the stunt after seeing thousands of selfies and other photographs of young, smiling people posing on the tributes to Europe’s six million murdered Jews on social media.

The project consisted of a series of photomontages showing people striking poses, taking selfies and even juggling at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin before the background changes to show them posing amid piles of murdered victims have gone viral on the internet.

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