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Jewish students sue Twitter over growing antisemitism

TJI Pick
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Published: 14 July 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Twitter will need to confront its failure to moderate antisemitic content on its platform in Germany.

A German court has ruled that a lawsuit accusing Twitter of allowing hateful content to proliferate on its platform can go ahead, adding yet another challenge for the embattled social media giant.

The European Union of Jewish Students and German digital advocacy group HateAid first petitioned the courts against the microblogging service in January, alleging that its “insufficient moderation of content” violated German criminal law and that the San Francisco-based company had declined to remove six racist and violent tweets which violated its terms of use.

“Twitter has betrayed our trust. By allowing hateful content to spread, the company fails to protect users, and Jews in particular,” EUJS president Avital Grinberg said earlier this year when her organisation first petitioned the court to accept the suit. “What starts online does not end there. Twitter cultivates real hate and violence and as such disregards our democratic values.”

Since being informed that the suit will go forward, Twitter has removed several of the offending tweets.

The Jewish Independent

According to The Guardian, EUJS and HateAid did not receive a response from Twitter regarding three of the six tweets, while they were informed that the other three did not violate the company’s rules.

According to EUJS, "out of the 6 tweets two are still public, two have been fully removed and two were just blocked for Germany.”

"This shows once again that Twitter doesn't care about the amount of hate we are exposed to on their platform, and that even with a lawsuit they won't make the effort to remove such disgusting content. Twitter needs to take concerns and screams for improvement seriously,”  Grinberg told Haaretz on Tuesday.


Twitter facing lawsuit brought by Jewish students in Europe over antisemitic tweets (Haaretz)  

Photo: Elon Musk, owner of Twitter and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla  at a conference in France in June (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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